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December 2013: Surviving the Holidaze

Deer ,
Breathe ....
Soften your shoulders ...
Loosen your belly ..  Pretend that you accept all that you are and all that you are not...
Remember the magic of Christmas even just a tiny bit more...
Act AS IF you are serene... and notice what happens.
If you would like a further break from the Holiday Jitters with a tail about a mermaid who forgets and the way to remember ... my gift to you is the link to this call from Dec 9.  
Survival Guide for Dysfunctional Families at the Holidaze

Back by Popular Demand (or a delusional brain-fart) from Last Year:
Do you regress as soon as you return home and a family member simply gives you a funny look? Would you like to know how to make it through the holidays without turning to into a regressed, snarling, troll-like being who copes by overdosing on holiday cookies and whiskey-spiked nog?
Here are a few creative survival tips gathered from extensive studies in the Muse laboratory where empirical results were extracted from subjects all over the world.. or from my mind, um . . . I forget which one. 
1. Pretend like you are spending the holiday with the family of a friend of yours. It can provide distance and perhaps even seem entertaining.  Too hard to get your mind around that? How about being just 5% more detached from the drama -- for instance, wear glasses and a mustache.
2. Whenever a family member pushes one of, you know, those BUTTONS, saying THAT THING or behaving THAT WAY THAT MAKES YOU CRAZY,  making you FORGET EVERY GAIN YOU'VE PAID HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS FOR IN THERAPY --have one of the following automatic responses:
a. Say to yourself, "Well, bless their heart!"  (Southern accents are particularly helpful here.).
b. Think to yourself, "My bodyguard is on the field," i.e. imagine handing your feelings over to a big burly bodyguard and pay no mind to the offending party - cuz things are taken care of. 
c. If you can't avoid incoming torment, brush it off your body as if it were cat hair, cheese cake crumbs, or gnats. (Use a lint roller for special effect and consider waving the roller at the offender, catching the debri ON the roller before it lands on your mild demeanor).
d. While they are talking to you in their button-pushing form, stare just above their eyes in the middle of their forehead with a blank expression on your face. Stay in that position 15 minutes (or more) after they've finished.
3. Just talk at the same time they are talking but replace their words with ones you'd like to hear instead. Do this without hesitating, EVERY TIME they speak (even if they are speaking to someone else). Premeditate and list all the compliments you'd like to hear ahead of time to make this easier.
4. When they are speaking, DUCK down, dodging their verbal ickiness and letting it fly over you, sparing you of any reason to be anything other than Audrey Hepburn-like or if you are a male, Gary Grant-like. 
5. Spend the holidays with someone else, go to the desert, or visit a friend in the hospital. Life is short. 
6. Know that you are blessed because: It's all fodder for writing, and those of us with messed-up families are amazingly creative sometimes BECAUSE of that. THANKS FAMILY!
7. If any of these suggestions made you laugh, just bring them to mind during those trying moments and remember the plethora of blessings we have in this life, including our creative minds, the miracles of nature, art, music, and pumpkin pie.
If that doesn't work, just squirt whipped cream in your mouth straight from the can. 
In gratitude and whipped cream,
Jill Badonsky
DECEMBER acrostics  from the members of The Writing Club  were so brilliant  I wanted to share them with you. Feel free to add your own in the comment section here.
Use DECEMBER as the letters going vertical down the page, and write an acrostic (lines starting with each letter in December). Suggestions: Challenge yourself to make it work on several different levels... with the meaning of December, each line leading to the next, but each line making sense in and of itself.
Deers are getting ready to make that long trip again.
Every year it's the same thing, they might be upset with each other all year long but...
Christmas brings them together.
Even if they have been bickering or getting their antlers all up in a knot.
(Mostly they quarrel about politics, heathcare, and what to watch on Sunday night.)
But when it's time to pull the sleigh for old Kris Kringle, they work as a team.
Especially Prancer and Vixen.
Rudolf not so much.
Barbara Lyons
Dwelling in the house of cheer, a creature roams.
Elves advise her, candles inspire her.
Ceasefires begin to prevail.
Embracing the calm, she speaks in all tongues.
Mayhem might pause for a pickle.
Beginnings bring visions of lollipops.
Endings sign contracts of melting ice caps.
Remember the need to stay clear.
Posted by: Barbara Lyons 
Shelly Tellier
Deliriously deep nights with dizzying snowflakes
Evergreens plump with whipped cream frosting
Cedar boughs dance a seductive slow sway
Etching designs on the frosted pane
Magpies eye the tinselled tree through the window
Bantering and bickering with one another
Embers glow in the fireplace
Remembering what it was like to be a flame.
Posted by: Shelly Tellier 
Susan Clare
I wrote 2 poems; the first one is in my inner 8 year old voice, the other one is written in voice of the moment.
Don’t pout or be nasty this month, or the elf won’t visit you
Everyone wishes for gifts to open on Christmas
Candy canes look pretty but I don’t like how they taste
Even the kids that are bad seem to get presents
My Mom always buys me too much
Baby Jesus is not in his crib I think my cat Honey was asleep on the hay
Evergreens smell like a forest with very tall trees
Remember to look for the magic in the Christmas lights at night

Dare to do it your way
Even if you buck the traditional, conventional senses
Christmas is waiting to be designed by you
Each day you decide what to sing, wrap, create
Make the season bright by tuning into your own inner light
Bury yourself under fake furry throws
Eat cookies with almond milk hot cocoa
Remember to enjoy the sparkling, crackling magical energy of believing
Posted by: Susan Clare
Jocelyn Brown
Prompt 403 December Assortment
Dream big, download and dance the amazing energy of miracles into life.
Embody the quiescent seed of your potential self.
Conceive and birth your own fairy godmother to grant your every wish.
Effortlessly receive cosmic answers amidst blinking Boson god particles.
Master the art of pushing cosmic buttons that transporting you into the light of possibilities. Buy spiritual illuminated rhinestone glasses.
Email embers of your heart to dear ones, near and far.
Reveal the concealed, out of cafe noir shadow, into the warm, lemon chiffon yellow light of the potentiating cosmos.
Descending sun
Cold caves at the northern
Edge of
But warm
Embers glow and
December comes but once a year bringing memories of loved ones, sometimes, with a tear. We hang each ornament and each decoration with care, remembering every Christmas with our dear ones shared. Beside the fireplace, warm and near, portraits, old, stand reflecting red and gold lights blinking good cheer.
Posted by: Jocelyn Brown
Dawn Kotzer
DiZzy, DanCing, deRViSh WhiRLers Entertaining,
electrifying energizer batteries
Cosmically calibrated, crescendo choral voices
Everlasting evergreen beauty
Mementos, memories mostly missing in action
Beg, barter, bindings bend into the flow
Ease, edit, excuse the experience of others
Rock-roll-rock-relax...let the spirit find you
Posted by: Dawn Kotzer 
Deanna J
Discard disappointment Expect ease Create chaos Entice elegance Mine memories Be brave Eat everything Really revel.
Posted by: Deanna J
Jocelyn Brown
December doesn't mean that much to me.
Everyone seems excited about the coming New Year and
Christmas shenanigans abound.
Etymologically,Christmas is a farce ...
Maybe it should be called Giftmas?
Better describes the attitude of Yuletide today.
Ever hear a reindeer bell ringing at midnight?
Ring ding-a-linging? Me neither.
The Grinch o-o
Posted by: Karen 
Upcoming Events
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OOOkay, I'll stop.
 2014 art calendars here, sample down there 
Have a Beautiful Holiday
Unlimited merriment, liberated fa la la's, 
Jill Badonsky is founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, and the author/illustrator of The Muse is In: An Owner's Manual to Your Creativity, The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder, and The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration.
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