10 ways to lose your mind this Christmas season

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who needs a nice, calm holiday season? Dare to be different and make yourself crazy this holiday season.

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  • When we think about the holidays, we usually dream of a calm, peaceful, family centered season filled with good food and caring friends. How ordinary. You should have a holiday season to remember, and here's your game plan.

  • For a decidedly different Christmas, try out these 10 ideas to drive yourself crazy this December.

  • Say yes to everything

  • This year you'll be invited to everything from parties to charity fundraisers to school programs. Make sure you say yes to absolutely everything. Yes, you'll bring treats to your kids' concert. Yes, you'll come to your friend's boring theme party. Yes, you'll run yourself ragged dragging yourself and your family to every activity under the sun.

  • Blow your budget

  • January and credit card bills are a long way off, so why worry about them now? Pick up every single thing your family may (or may not) want, wrap it up and put it under the tree. Who cares if you'll still be paying it off in July? It's Christmas!

  • Invite all of your family

  • You have a guest room in your home, so why not invite 15 of your favorite cousins to join in your celebration? In fact, why not invite them to stay an entire two weeks? Don't forget to entertain them every second of every day they stay with you.

  • One up the neighbors

  • Tis the season to get insanely competitive. Your house needs to have the most lights, the biggest tree and the best decorations. After all, every holiday needs winners and losers.

  • Maintain insanely high expectations

  • The kids will be around more during this time of the year, and your schedule will be busier. It's so important not to let anything slip. Maintain a spotless house and perfectly groomed children at all times. No one gets a free pass this holiday season, including you. Ultimate perfection is your seasonal motto this year.

  • Forget keeping it simple. Bigger is always better!

  • You have exactly one month to fit in every tradition you've ever heard of. Go! Bonus points if you can fit caroling, ornament making and volunteering at the soup kitchen in one afternoon.

  • Wrap all the presents Martha Stewart-style

  • Trim the tree and wrap the gifts with military precision. Make sure the gifts for your toddler have hand-made bows that he isn't allowed to touch. Lay them out weeks in advance and get used to yelling, "No! Don't touch!" thousands of times each day.

  • Eat everything in sight

  • From Thanksgiving until New Year's, swear off fruits and vegetables and subsist on a diet of sugar and fried appetizers. You'll feel bloated and gross and lethargic, but as long as you don't look at the scale on Jan. 1, you won't have to face the facts.

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  • Think about no one but yourself

  • Christmas comes with a plethora of opportunities to give back, but don't feel obligated to participate. This time of the year is all about you, after all. If you keep up this attitude long enough, your kids will start to act just like you. Isn't that what you always wanted?

  • Forget the reason for the season

  • This time of year is all about Santa and presents, right? You should ignore anything that reminds you of a higher, nobler reason to celebrate. You'd hate to have that warm, fuzzy feeling ruining your holiday season.

  • Great advice, right? The truth is that the holiday season gets complicated quickly. We're pulled in a million directions, and it's easy to get distracted by so many good things that we forget to focus on the best things.

  • Before you stress yourself out this holiday season, take a step back and promise to keep it simple and focus on your family. No one will remember if you burn the cookies or sing off-key. It will matter that you foster positive family traditions and show your family love.

  • Have a great Christmas season!

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Heather Hale is a fourth-generation Montanan and mom to three crazy boys.

Website: http://moderatelycrunchy.blogspot.com

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