Today, we begin a series on “Prepping for the holidays.” First up, how to avoid those pesky “what-the-hell-was-I-thinking?” holiday moments. A what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? is anything that seemed like a good idea at the time, even though everyone else could see disaster coming a mile off.

What-the-hell-was-I-thinking-s are common around any major holiday. Suddenly “holiday head” sets in and we find ourselves thinking, “Gosh, it would be fun to invite both sides of the family to dinner” in spite of what happened the last six years, or “I’m sure everyone will prefer a tofu turkey because it’s kinder to animals.”

There is a solution. You can avoid a what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? by following this simple plan.



Now ask yourself one all-important question. “Is there any possible way that what I am planning to do could lead me to end up with an angry squirrel trapped in a metal garbage can?”

Perhaps I should explain.

A half-hour ago, I went into my backyard to feed the birds, accidentally leaving the lid off the metal garbage can that holds my birdseed. I came back onto the deck. A scuffling from the can. The black squirrel that rules my backyard was inside the can, munching seed. Instantly, I threw the lid on. “Hah!,” I rejoiced, “I’ve trapped the nasty, evil squirrel in a can!” This was followed immediately by, “Oh my God. I’ve trapped the nasty, evil squirrel in a can!”

I now have three options. A) Remove the lid and possibly get my face chewed off. B) Never, ever remove the lid and never be able to use the can, birdseed or possibly my deck ever again. Or C) Do what any sensible woman would do. Call my partner to come home from hockey practice and let the squirrel out of the can. She has a face mask.

So, before you issue invitations, plan a menu or even think about presents, ask whether squirrels, metal cans or hockey masks are likely to become involved in any way. And let’s all have a what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? free holiday.

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