there’s no need to be afraid

Holiday stress got you down? Feel like the holidays suck bourbon balls and you can’t wait for January? Your old pal Uncle Willie is here to make it all better:

The economy is in the shitter, unemployment is skyrocketing, and it turns out that there are just nine days left until Christmas, which means there are only eight shopping days, provided you’re willing to run through the mall with Governor Ahnold and all the other panicked people on Christmas Eve. It is entirely understandable if you just want the whole damn season to be over. If you haven’t totally lost the holiday spirit (or dumped it all in your egg nog), I’m here today with a few tricks to make the holidays not just bearable, but joyous and wonderful.

I was trying to work in a Brad Jacobs reference there, but I couldn’t make it fit, damn my stupid fingers. Anyway, this column is filled with what I hope is useful advice to actually relax and enjoy the season, and it ends with this bit that is so important to me, I’m going to excerpt it here to give it maximum exposure:

Before I settle down for a long winter’s nap, I want to mention one thing specifically for the parents reading this. Go to your kids’ holiday pageants, and cherish every moment when you’re there. Take the morning off from work, call in sick, but do whatever it takes to attend. Arrive early, so you’re not fighting with other parents for a spot against the back wall. Turn off your cell phone (and don’t just put it on vibrate so you can check your e-mail during the Hanukkah song — off means OFF). Embrace the time you’re there. You only get a few of these moments, and one day you’ll look at December on the calendar and realize that, like a set of keys dropped into a river of molten lava, they’re gone, man.

See, there’s nothing tricky about it. It’s just a little trick!