Forget Perfect Holidays

Forget Perfect Holidays

A Three Part Guide to Surviving the Holidays Without Getting Fat, Going Broke or Having Your Wife Throw Egg Nog in Your Face

Catch Lisa on Good Morning America – Pressure to Create the Perfect HolidayRead the article and click the TV to watch the clip!

Part I – How to Only Gain 2 lbs Instead of 20

It Came Upon a Midnight Buffet Table

Let the gluttony begin. ’Tis the season of sin. Other families may engage in meaningful religious rituals, but my family is whooping it up at the church of the holy drumstick.

Why settle for a single sip of wine and tasteless wafers when you can have cocktails and cookies all month long? My family attends church every Sunday, but when the holidays come, what we really worship is food. And a little adulation at the altar of alcohol is a sacred tradition as well.

The devotionals began at Thanksgiving with fatted calf stuffing and a few goblets of wine, followed by a sacrament of chocolate pie topped with ice cream and Kahlua. It’s a timeless holy trinity of sugar, fat and alcohol, and there’s nothing my family likes better than slopping it up all season long.

However, the revered rituals of my youth no longer serve my newly enlightened self, and I’ve made a vow to . . .

Part II – Countdown to the Holidays Mirrors the Five Stages of Grief

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines holiday as “a day of freedom from labor”

“Holiday” may mean a day of rest, but The Holidays means a month of non-stop work for women. We’re halfway there, and if you’re not insane yet, you’re taking way too much Percocet. It doesn’t matter if . . .

Part III – Attention Last Minute Male Shoppers—There’s Still Time To Get It Right

Holiday Hints for a Happy Wife

A chubby guy sops up his bloody nose with a red lace thong.

A young groom tries to hide the sparkly, white hand-held mixer jutting from his ear.

And a middle-aged man pushing a vacuum cleaner appears to have the hose hanging out of out of the back of his pants.

They’re all guilty of the same heinous crime.

The hilarious video, “Do Not Buy Your Wife the Wrong Christmas Gift,” can be seen throughout the holiday at, but the painful repercussions of poor present picking will be felt year-round.

Women are often disappointed, but my cocktail party surveys reveal that men are frustrated as well. They want to please their wives, but they feel like only expensive jewelry or a new car will do.

My own dear husband takes a lot of grief in this column, what with talking about his sex life, career issues, and eating habits. But when it comes gift giving, Bob is a true master. Rather than simply buying the most sparkly thing he can find, he pays close attention to my life, and chooses gifts that make me feel treasured and adored.

So in the interest of creating peace on earth, and keeping husbands out of the ER, I have some suggestions. Here are a few common female challenges, Bob’s most memorable solutions, and some ideas to help other men get into their wives’ good graces.

Wifely Whine No. 1: I’m a disorganized mess.

Admin Bob to the Rescue: Pre-Palm Pilot, he bought me a Rolodex and organized my thousands of collected business cards into it.

Husband Hints:

A gorgeous Franklin Covey bag stocked with the company’s “Her Point of View” organizer (beautiful, functional and filled with inspiring quotes and Franklin’s “Switchable” four-piece accessory pack,

A portable IRIS Card Mini biz card scanner (Mac and PC compatible,

A blazing red Casio Exilim digital camera means no more shoeboxes of unlabeled photos.

Wifely Whine No. 2: I’m a frumpy dumpy housewife.

Big Bob’s Beauty Secret: As a breast-feeding mom, I teared up when he presented a beautifully made, loose fitting, machine-washable, button-front shirt that “exactly matches your pretty eyes.”

Husband Hints: If you’ve criticized her looks in the past, move to the next category. But if you truly think she’s beautiful, and you want her to see herself the way you do:

Outfit her with some cool Geox leather boots (comfy, waterproof and breathable,

NYD Tummy Tuck Jeans (comfy and flattering for “Real Women With Real Curves,”

A Tarte make up gift pack (best cheek stain and lip gloss ever,

Drop low-cal SinNamon kettle corn ( into her pretty mouth while she discovers sexy women with tummies in the hilarious novel “It’s Never Too Late to Look Hot,” by Heather Estay (Harper Collins, $12.95)

Wifely Whine No. 3: I do everything for everyone.

Bob’s Home Spa Bliss: Fre
quent no-strings attached back rubs.

Husband Hints:

Nestle her onto a Homedics Quad Roller Massaging Cushion (

Spray her chair with Heal Thyself Pillow Spray (

Serve her Oasis Green Tea (luxurious silken infusers, or if she’s really cranky, a Jose Cuervo ready-to-serve Golden Margarita

Feed her Chocolate Cherry Clusters (a three-box organic Tower of Treats from lets her keep the sweets and re-gift the cheese and jelly.

Then rub her tootsies with Gold Bond Foot Cream (a spa feel for a drug-store price) while she curls up with a copy of The Book of No — 250 Ways to Say It and Mean It,” by Susan Newman (McGraw Hill, $14.95)

Wifely Whine No. 4: Business travel is turning me into a schlepping sherpa.

Bob’s Little Luxury: Arranging for an airport car service and plugging their number into my cell phone.

Husband Hints:

A red carry-on wheeled upright from High Sierra (cute, lightweight and a padded laptop sleeve,

Pack it with a Plantronics Bluetooth headset (no echo dashing through terminals,

A travel-size Tempur-Pedic Pillow (no airplane bobble head, visit

A classic non-iron, fitted white shirt (whips out unwrinkled for fashion emergencies,

If you can’t spring for a car service, help her remember where she parked with a Discovery voice recording key chain (

Take a lesson from Bob — well thought-out gifts make for a very happy holiday indeed.

Copyright © 2006 by Lisa Earle McLeod. All Rights reserved.

Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally recognized speaker and the author of “Forget Perfect: Finding Joy, Meaning, and Satisfaction in the Life You’ve Already Got and the YOU You Already Are.” Contact her or join her interactive blog at