Everyone wants a picturesque, Norman Rockwell, Walton family-like Christmas. Everyone hopes that everyone in the family can get along. Everyone hopes to either give or get the perfect gift, and we all, of course, want peace on Earth.

Now let's get real. If we just get these five achievable goals checked off, we can call it a success.

#5 - No D.U.I. - I'm actually not trying to be funny here. It's dangerous and irresponsible to drive drunk. One of these arrests is easy to get, too. You don't need to be wasted to be considered too drunk to drive.

#4 - No "Clearing the Air" - This, to me, is maybe the hardest task to accomplish on the list. If there is lingering resentment in the family, someone will inevitably want to cure all the ills. You had all year to get this done and did not get around to it. This is not the time. Take your feelings and push them WAY down in your belly.

#3 - Hit 1 Food Home Run - Make a ham they will write books about.

#2 - Keep the plans as simple as possible - Everyone is already overloaded on stress. It's time to be done with stress. It's time to overeat and have a drink. If you have made an itinerary for XMAS Eve or XMAS Day, you have already ruined XMAS. Don't plan anything that requires last minute trips to the store. Plan NO activities. This is not "Double Dare", it's XMAS. Time to sit and relax.

#1 - No Tears - If you get everything else on the list right there will be no tears. If you are a crier and something goes wrong, stop crying. You are making the non criers uncomfortable. Choke it down or hide in the bathroom.

You can follow my advice or swim in a pool of blood and tears, up to you.

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