Holiday Hell – A Survival Guide

Yes, the holiday season is here.  Gift lists are starting (or getting longer!), the sales are on their way, and the hustle and bustle is just around the corner.  Stores are already bursting at the seams with holiday cheer, and the constant beeping of the credit card reader can be heard long into the night.

Wait.  Can we just skip this and get right to January?


No way.

You see, I think this is the best time of year for learning how to be totally present (no pun intended).  To be fully and completely present to yourself, others, and the world around you.  The chaos is instructive.

The other 10 months of the year are usually spent lying to ourselves that we’re calm, peaceful, collected, and connected.  We’ve read the books, done the 30-day meditation marathons, and felt what we believe to be real spiritual progress.

Then, when November and December roll around, it all flies apart.  We discover that we’re far from the Golden Gates of Nirvana, and much closer to the Flaming Doors of Neurosis.  We’re frazzled, frustrated, and stressed, longing for some moment of peace and calm.

So let’s be proactive and actually take some steps toward peaceful living right now, so that the holiday season can be at least a little less crazy and more calm, less traumatic and more tranquil.  Yes, it will take a little self-discipline and work, but what in life doesn’t require a little giving of ourselves?

At heart, I’m still a numerologist with a touch of OCD, so here is a list of five things you can do for yourself to make the holidays more pleasant for yourself and those close to you.




Photo by Dingseyu Lei via Unsplash


1. Meditate. Every. Single. Day. My friends and clients hear me say this over and over, and I will never stop saying it. If you’re not taking time to stop and sit in silence, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot, spiritually speaking.  Take every day and actually sit in silence for at least 10 minutes.  Pay attention to your breathing.  When a thought comes by, an emotion bubbles up, or a memory pops in to say hello, gently return to the awareness of the breath again.

Now some people love to use apps to meditate.  Take some advice from a friend: if you’re going to use an app, use a timer.  That’s it.  Meditation is not about following words, images, and directed goals; it’s about sitting in real silence and confronting that False Self head-on without flinching.  When we meditate, we let go of illusion and embrace reality as it is right now in the present moment.  Don’t take the easy route with a nice-sounding recording.  Jump into silence.  If there are noises around you, remember that every noise is a little Buddha, helping you to stay with the silence.

Too busy?  Make some time anyway.  If you can’t make 10 minutes happen to meditate, how can you make 10 minutes for a heart-to-heart with the person you love, or 10 minutes of high-quality work, or even 10 minutes of good downtime that restores and renews you?  If you make time for silence, silence will make time for you.   Your time during the day will actually lengthen. Trust me.




Photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash 


2.Get things done. Again, simple, but difficult at the same time. Last-minute shopping is at the heart of the retail world during the holiday season.  Granted, they put all the holiday decorations out at the beginning of October, but somehow, we don’t start shopping until December 20th.

Get your shopping and buying done now.  When you procrastinate, it’s not doing anyone any good.  You get stressed, you pass on that stress to others, and they feed it right back to you.  Is all that high blood pressure, temper flare-ups, and stressed relationships worth it?  Probably not the best example of holiday cheer!

Yes, I understand  there are sales you can wait for, but you are a smart shopper to begin with, and you know where the best deals already are!  You could also do what I do: I shop in February for Christmas presents.  Most of the time, I get my holiday shopping done in February and March, with my “rush time” in June and July.  Less stress.  Fewer crowds.  Cheaper prices.

If you are a chronic procrastinator, put off procrastination!  Decide to procrastinate after the holiday season, and decide to get everything done sooner than ever before.  Once the holiday season is over, you can go back to procrastinating again.

3. Daily reminders. It’s helpful to remember why you celebrate the holidays. If we



Photo by Deniz Altinidas via Unsplash


understand what we’re doing, and the kind of holiday experience we want to manifest, everything seems to fall into place much more easily.

Set up a special area in your bedroom or family room with special tokens and reminders of
why you celebrate the holidays in the first place.  As you begin your day, stop by that special place and just be there for a minute or two.

Think about how you want the holidays to feel.  How your relationships will be experienced.  The sounds and sights that inspire you during the holiday season.  Really see, hear, and feel these things.  Then get on with your day.

4. Post-holiday treat for yourself. After the holiday season is over, we usually feel exhausted, no matter how much we’ve prepared, pre-planned, and pre-bought.  We need some time to re-charge our batteries and restore our spirit.



Photo by Kimson Doan via Unsplash


Set up a spa day for yourself.  Go to a special restaurant and movie/play with that special someone. Set up a party with friends, so you can laugh and relax.  Whatever you choose, set it up now, before the season begins. Then you will be assured of some proper relaxation and restoration after the holiday season ends.

5. Holiday shopping by the Numbers. 



Photo by Austris Augusts via Unsplash 


Okay, I wasn’t going to write this last one, but I got the “pull” that someone was needing this.  Here’s a quick holiday shopping guide if you’re stuck on what to buy someone for the holidays.


There are two ways you can use this.  If you know their Life Path number (the total of the person’s month, day and four-digit year of birth, added together until you get a single digit), then use that number.  If you only have their name, go with the first vowel of their first name (A=1, E=5, I=9, O=6, U=3).

  1. Practical items. Tools, utensils, earrings, sunglasses. Electronics are a plus.
  2. Cameras, framed pictures or photos, scrapbook, handmade gifts, candlelight dinner for two..
  3. Artistic and personalized items. Arts/crafts items, stained glass, special books. Sports equipment.
  4. Sports equipment, bath oils, perfumes/colognes, music, manicure, spa gift certificate.
  5. Diaries, calendars, calligraphy pens . Books and DVDs. Telephone accessories.
  6. Home decorations, music, jewelry, essential oils. Anything made of copper.
  7. Electronic gadgets, movie tickets/gift cards, spirituality books/recordings. Anything unique/unusual.
  8. Autobiographies, antiques. Something classy and/or historical.
  9. Travel items, gym memberships, exercise items, exotic gifts or travel destinations. First-aid kit.



Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at