It's time to make your holiday resolution list.
Do it while December is young, before you slip into all the bad holiday habits that in previous Decembers have left you desperate for the doldrums of January. Here's an all-purpose list to help you customize your own.
I hereby resolve that between now and New Year's:
I will not eat and drink myself sick.
If I do eat and drink myself sick, I will not blame it on pop culture, capitalism, my parents, my siblings, Obama, the GOP, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Mike Madigan, Ted Cruz, my significant other, my boss or the office mates who use the holidays as a reason to bring in even more communal muffins.
I will not let shopping be my primary holiday activity.
With the time I save by not shopping so much, I will do one or more of the following:
A. Sing songs of the season.
B. Take a walk and admire the neighbors' holiday lights.
C. Make time for a meal or coffee with a good friend.
D. Make cookies but not eat them all.
I will not be insulted if the cookies I give away are not greeted with enthusiasm; I know that there are way too many holiday cookies going on.
When other holiday bakers give me a plate of their cookies, I will not groan, "Oh, no, not more cookies." Nor will I feel obliged to eat them all.
I will not feel guilty if I'm one of those people who hasn't baked cookies of any kind since college.
I furthermore resolve:
I will not carry the grudges of Christmas past into this Christmas. Whatever happened during my childhood Christmases is over. Whatever happened last Christmas is over.
I will not mourn for the pleasures of Christmases past, but instead will find time to reflect peacefully on the people with whom I have spent previous holidays, happy to have had that time with them.
I will give money to one or more charities.
I will decorate. Soon. I do not have to decorate lavishly, but I will light a candle or trim a tree or string some lights, something that adds a little festive flair to my home.
I will not put one of those hideous, inflatable Frostys in my front yard. Ever.