Less than 3 weeks to go before Christmas, and as we work on our holiday cards and gift ideas, we inevitably have to ask ourselves how generous we feel like being towards the cast of characters that are part of our world.  It’s almost like an annual review of our status with family and friends, and here is where I love playing Ms. Claus and shedding the dead weight while rewarding those that have been good.

Being perfectly candid, 2013 started out a bit rough, particularly with the death of my grandmother, who lived 97 very full years and is one of the most peaceful souls I’ve ever met here on Earth.  There were other hiccups along the way, which are not worth mentioning here, but suffice it to say that those who truly cared about me stepped up and rallied, and I will be eternally grateful to those that stood by me in a time of need and helped make the second half of 2013 a stellar experience.

As kids, we all learned that good behavior would be rewarded, whereas bad acts would be punished.  I say we should continue to live that way as adults.  Why put up a facade?  If you don’t feel like buying someone a present, then don’t.  If you can’t afford to do what you’d like to do, just say that.  There should be no drama during the holidays– those that love you will understand if times are tough, and really once you become an adult, it’s all about spending time together– the magical gifts are for the kids, and that’s where we should focus our resources in my opinion.

During the holiday season, it is perfectly normal for all adults to reflect on the past, and think of what is yet to come in the new year.  My advice is to start the new year fresh– without the bad baggage.  Don’t harbor resentment towards those relationships that failed.  Those that are there for you in good times and in bad are in fact rare, that’s what makes them so special.  Make those count, and with the rest, just envision yourself like Teflon– don’t let their b.s. stick to you.  People can only drag you down during the holidays if you let them– so don’t allow yourself to give them that kind of power.

In the end, I’m not leaving it to Santa, or any other powers that be, to figure out whether I’ve been naughty or nice.  I know I’ve been nice, despite ample opportunity to go to the dark side, and now it’s just about rewarding those that helped me stay on track.  Here’s hoping you will do the same!

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.