Helpful Holiday Hints

Tree with a skull on it.

This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to Christmas spirit.

In 2010, I started writing a “Helpful Holiday Hint” for every day in December leading up to Christmas. Other than a mild distaste for both the holidays and the type of bland advice peddled by Supermarket impulse buy magazines, I have no idea why I started, but people have enjoyed them enough that I’m still doing it now. I started by simply posting them on Facebook, but last year I took them to Twitter as well, which I think improved them significantly by limiting them to 140 characters. In any case, with the end finally in sight this year (it’s not easy to come up with a new joke every day, especially since I’ve already written 75 similar ones), here are some of my favorite hints from the past four seasons. If you want to catch them all, feel free to friend me on Facebook, follow @HelpfulHoliday on Twitter or even follow my personal Twitter account, where I tend to retweet the ones I’m proud of.

  • Having trouble finding a parking spot? Turn on your hazard lights and pretend you broke down.
  • Stressing out over a few names on your list? Ask yourself if it is easier to buy that person a present or avoid them for a few weeks.
  • A live birth is a great way to add authenticity to your nativity scene.
  • Don’t know what to say when you receive a bad gift? Try booing loudly.
  • Unless you’ve made them anatomically correct, the proper term is Gingerbread People.
  • Holiday ham ruined? When family members come to the door, give them a Tootsie Roll, say “Nice Costume” and send them on their way.
  • By starting now and dedicating 8 hours a year to wrapping presents, you can ensure that you master the craft by the year 3262.
  • Replacing sparkling wine with sparkling grape juice is a great way to figure out who’s an alcoholic and who just wants attention.
  • Sick of playing Santa every year? Switch it up by dressing like the Easter Bunny and hiding all the presents in the front yard.
  • If you can beat Santa in a fiddle contest, you get to drive the sleigh.
  • Gift cards make an easy and affordable last minute gift. By the time they figure out it’s been used, it’s already too late.
  • When adding your name to gift tags, be sure to use indelible ink. This makes it much harder for the actual gift buyer to remove it.
  •  A vast majority of gifts already come in boxes, so a little spray paint is a great way to avoid wasting wrapping paper.
  • Here’s a fresh twist on an old classic: instead of building a gingerbread house, try foreclosing on one.
  • This year, if grandma gets run over by a reindeer, remind her to not say a word until the lawyer shows up.
  • Building a snowman and pretending that he is Parson Brown will not result in a legally binding ceremony.

Feel free to share these with anyone who needs help navigating the stressful seas of the holidays. It’s my way of giving back to the community.

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