Test Your Holiday Style—Tiffany Crystal or Pre-Paid Bail Money?

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Thanksgiving has whizzed past and Christmas looms ahead. If you’re anything like me, you make this super stupid promise to yourself roughly December 24th that you will buy gifts throughout the year, so you aren’t pressed and stressed and ready to stand on a roof with a shotgun holding the entire dish of rum balls hostage…and ALL the rum. No, this year will be different. I will be PREPARED.

*clutches sides laughing*


Sort of reminds me of finals back in college. Next time I am going to read all my chapters AHEAD of time.

Christmas is a magical time of year, but all of us handle the season differently. So what is your Holiday Style? Here’s a helpful little quiz:

1) When cleaning before the holidays, you:

a) Might give the mantel a light dusting just so you don’t look like a show-off. The gleam from your spotless fixtures could cause retinal damage. Eloise is a rank amateur next to you.

b) Make a plan to go room by room and whip your house into shape. Once this baby is clean, you KNOW it will stay that way for good. In fact, you’ve vowed to stab your husband in the face if he leaves his towel on the bathroom floor, and have threatened your children with a tell-all e-mail to Santa if they don’t put their clean clothes away properly.

c) Get a little excited because you haven’t seen your floors, counters or pretty much any of your home’s flat surfaces since the party last New Years. In fact, you are pretty sure the Christmas tree is still up under one of the piles of laundry and unopened mail. Hey, why take down decorations you know you will need every year?

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Yes, this is um…ME *hangs head*

2) When it comes to holiday shopping, you:

a) Are already finished. You made a long, detailed list last January and have spent the year buying the perfect gift for all your loved ones. All that’s left is to enjoy the season while those ill-prepared dopes fight over the last Holiday Barbie.

b) Wait until Black Friday. Technically, you start three days before Black Friday. What better way to use all that camping equipment you got last year for Christmas, than to stake out the front of Apple, Ikea or Best Buy?

c) Dig through your closet for all the unopened crappy gifts you got at the office Secret Santa party last year and then re-gift them to your distant relatives. Sure, Aunt Edna doesn’t know who Justin Bieber is, but who wouldn’t want a singing toothbrush?

Well, other than you, of course.

Kill it with FIRE.

Tomorrow, I will do the wrapping….

3) When it comes to gifts, you:

a) Spare no expense. The holiday season is a season of generosity. All your gifts are thoughtful, beautiful, lavish, and better than everyone else’s.

b) Believe it’s the thought that counts, and most people will think you are cheap if they see the Clearance sticker on their present, which is why you LOVE black Sharpies. They can be counted on to fully black out the $4.99 on the bottom of that seashell vase from Anthropologie. Hey, we don’t have to pay retail to still give an awesome gift. You just make sure the gift recipient can see part of the original price of $89 so they feel like you “shelled” out a lot of cash.

c)  Make one trip. Dollar General has everything you need for Christmas gifts. What could be a better Christmas gift than cans of Lite Vienna Sausages (Now Made with REAL Meat!) or Low-Sodium Spam?

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4) When it comes to holiday memories, you:

a) Love capturing every moment on video, then editing the clips to music using your MacBook Pro. Then, of course you order prints from SnapFish so you can scrapbook together all the holiday magic. You have the cutest little snowman stickers that will add the perfect touch to the family newsletter you send out early morning December 26th.

b) Have them all in a big box that you will organize one day…once you locate the box.

c) Just get drunk on Jack and Coke then watch Jerry Springer reruns. The effect is pretty much the same.

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5) Of all the Christmas carols, you:

a) Know Handel’s Messiah is your all-time favorite, and you know all the words. Why wouldn’t you? You sing in the choir every year.

b) Can’t get enough Silver and Gold, sung by Burl Ives. It reminds you of being a kid and waiting all year to see Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

c) Think Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is the funniest carol EVER, next to the Three Kings who tried to smoke a rubber cigar. In fact, you can’t even sing Deck the Walls with the correct lyrics.

6) As far as wrapping Christmas presents, you:

a) Use the tips you saved out of Martha Stewart Magazine. You bought the heavy duty paper and lavish bows last year at the Container Store After Christmas Sale and expensive ornaments 85% off at the Dillard’s After Christmas Sale. All your gifts look so beautiful, they might as well be considered Christmas decorations. No one ever wants to open your gifts until they’ve taken a picture of the wrapping.

b) Thought you were saving money when you bought the wrapping paper from Wal Mart. Of course, you didn’t foresee that it was as thin as rice-paper on a crash diet. After tearing the corners on every box you wrapped, you had to wrap everything AGAIN. This means ten gifts took 42 rolls of paper. You lost the tape, only to later find it stuck to your butt. The dog ate all the ribbon and is now pooping tinsel, and your husband has found it HYSTERICAL to put tape on all the cat’s paws instead of helping.

You make a note to buy big bottle of Maker’s Mark for next year’s wrapping.

c) The gifts you bought came pre-wrapped. It’s called a Dollar Store bag. DUH. You love the environment, so why cut down more trees when THIS Christmas wrapping paper can later be used to pick up the tinsely dog poop?

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7) When it comes to dressing for holiday parties you:

a) Buy smashing outfit ahead of time so you have time to find the perfect accessories and shoes to match. Then you make sure to get an appointment with a hairdresser and makeup artist in October before the slots fill. Why trust those holiday pictures to anyone but a professional?

b) Buy an outfit ahead of time, but completely forget about shoes and earrings…and eating less. You bought the dress even though it was too small, because it was supposed to make you be “good” this year and not overeat. Ah, but that was until the dog started pooping tape and Christmas ribbon and you leveled the fudge like a Biblical plague (Baby Jesus would have been duly impressed).

So Christmas Eve you find yourself wandering the mall searching for the last pair of Spanks in the free world. Speaking of tinsel, you can’t help but wonder what the tinsel-strength of spandex is. In your mind, you imagine a Catastrophic Spanx Failure that takes out three innocent bystanders.

And is it considered an act of domestic terrorism if you survive?

c) Just wear yoga pants and a maternity top for the extra “give.”

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8) As far as decorating for the holidays, you:

a) Hire professionals. Can’t be Yard of the Month without a little help. Your Christmas lights can be seen from space. The folks at NASA and the Soviet Space Station are your biggest fans.

b) Were going to avoid it altogether until it became evident that you were the ONLY house on the block without lights, and now you have been shamed into putting out some last-minute effort. Of course, everything was sold out, so you were forced to decorate with the Halloween lights.

Orange works, right? Hell, just put Santa hats on all the skulls. Make it a Goth Christmas.

c) Just plug them in. You left them up all year :D.

9) When it comes to your children and Santa, you:

a) Bake cookies for Santa with the kids, and Christmas Eve you take the little ones out into the yard and spread some “Reindeer Food.” Your husband dresses in a Santa costume and you “sneak” some iPhone footage of Santa at work in your living room to show the kids the next morning. Childhood is a magical time and you want to fuel your children’s imaginations.

b) Take them to Cabela’s. Free photos with Santa, fishing gear is 50% off, and they FINALLY have your ammo in stock.

c) Let your neighbor take your kids to Cabela’s. You still have to find the Christmas tree…after you level up on Halo 6.

10) When your kids question how Santa can make it to all the boys’ and girls’ houses in all the world in one night, you:

a) Tell them that Santa is the spirit of generosity and love, and that spirits have powers we mortals cannot comprehend.

b) Point the pizza kiosk in the mall and yell, “I’m buying!”

c) Inform your kids that Santa has been cloned, and reference the Star Wars Clone Wars.

11) When sending out holiday cards, you:

a) Buy cards for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, and just general holiday cards and then send them to the appropriate recipients.

b) Buy generic reindeer cards, then write it “Happy Holi-Chrisma-Kwanzaa-kuh.” Your friends all know you’re weird anyway. Frankly, they are all shocked you got the cards sent at all.

c) Holiday Cards? *laughs hysterically until can’t breathe*

12) When someone gives you a dreadful gift, you:

a) Know they meant well, so you make sure they see you wearing that horrendous purple mohair vest at the church bake sale. You would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

b) Send a nice thank you note then return the gift for something you prefer.

c) Stockpile the crappy gifts away for next year, so you don’t have to do as much Christmas shopping. Hey, waste not want not.

Tally Your Scores!!!

Amazing Alice/Awesome Alan

If you answered mostly As, you get an A+++++ in Christmas. You, Amazing Alice/Alan, are the star of the show with the prettiest EVERTYHING, the one who has everything in order and who pulls out all the stops…which is probably why most of us secretly hate you and want to stab YOU in the face.

Normal Nancy/Typical Ted

If you answered mostly Bs, relax. You’re normal. While you probably could try a little harder, why bother? Amazing Alice and Awesome Alan are going to outdo you anyway.

Slacker Sarah/Lazy Larry

Hey, life is too short to be organized. There are video games to play.

I hate to say it but I am almost an even mix of Normal Nancy and Slacker Sarah. Every year I promise to try harder. ONE DAY I will be an Amazing Alice…yeah, no. My brother and sister-in-law are Amazing Alice and Awesome Alan so they enable my underachieving. Even why I TRY to make my Christmas packages look all awesome and professionally wrapped…they just look more like a roll of wrapping paper and Scotch tape had a drunken one-night-stand.


What is the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever gotten? My Aunt Iris once bought me a bright purple sweater that was so small, I think it was made for a Barbie, a child or a circus midget…then loudly commented on how fat I’d gotten when I couldn’t “try it on.”

So what about you guys?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of DECEMBER, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook


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  1. I think I knew which one I was before I answered a single question – for years, the star on top of the tree was an aluminum foil-covered star cut out of a Coors Light 24-pack box.

    And I still have it, more than 2 decades later.

    Worst present? Leg warmers from the drug store when I thought I was getting a diamond engagement ring.

      • Lanette Kauten on December 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm
      • Reply

      You’re in good company. Apparently, beer can Christmas trees are a thing now: http://jamesdanielseeks.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/christmas-tree-with-beer-can-ornaments1.jpg

      1. Woohoo! I’m cool for once! And a trendsetter even!

  2. Hahahahaha!!!! I laughed so hard while reading this. 🙂

  3. Loving. This.

    I once put my Christmas tree up in September (my hubby now holds me off until November 12) and my shopping is 90% done for this year. Also, the inside of my home looks like Santa’s workshop threw up; holiday crap everywhere. This being our first year with a kitten in the house, I’ve actually taken it very easy on the decorations and am discovering the joy of reassembling our Christmas tree on a daily basis. Fun!

    All that said, I’m always up past midnight on Christmas Eve wrapping. And drinking. Lots of drinking by that point.

    Worst gift? Every Fisher Price “gag” gift from my parents — even well up into my 30s. I’ve figured out how to use a phone by now, thankyouverymuch.

    • Lanette Kauten on December 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    • Reply

    Happy Ramahanukwanzasolstimas, everyone! I’m pretty much a Normal Nancy, except it’s me who puts tape on the cat’s paws.

  4. Oh, is it the holidays already? 😈

  5. ROFL.

  6. My malevolent Aunt Maxine gave my sister and I toy commodes one Christmas. They were about five inches high, with pink teddy bear decals on the lids. We have no clue what message she sent with those items, since we were 11 and 12 and left off dolls as soon as we were able to hoist cap guns.

    The lesson learned was “never give a ‘WTF?’ gift, unless paper money is taped to it.”

  7. I’m a bit of an OC and an interior designer plus a good cook so no problem in that area. When It comes to dressing up, comfort is on the top of my list, if I can go everywhere in my jogging suit, I would. When Buying gifts I give what I can afford. I decorate according to the type of houses. In our country house I do it old school, but in our city dwelling black, white and silver is the order of the day.
    My son is 25 years old and my daughter is 27 so, they don’t need to be told about the reality of Santa Claus. I have no grandchildren yet.
    I am grateful for all the gifts I receive because people spent time and money on it so the least I could do is be thankful.
    Happy Tuesday Everyone!

    • Tamara LeBlanc on December 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply

    Hahahahahaaaaaaa!!! Still laughing 🙂
    I’m a Normal Nancy, which I’m happy to admit 🙂
    The worst Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten? I can’t really think of one. But the first thing that sprung to mind when I read the question was something my husband got me when he’d went on a business trip to Savannah many, many Decembers ago. He’d called me to tell me he was on his way home and mentioned, “Oh, and by the way, I have a surprise for you. I think you’ll love it.”
    I couldn’t wait for him to return, envisioning a box full of pralines or one of those great big peanut butter cups River Street Sweets makes (I’m a girl ruled by her stomach)
    But no, my stomach was not to be sated.
    Instead I was handed a Netty Pot…It was ceramic and had an image of Cyrano De Bergerac painted on it.
    Granted the man with the plentiful proboscis is my favorite literary character…but…huh?!
    I never let Dusty forget that one. We had a good chuckle about it every so often.

    I sure do miss the guy. He wasn’t a great gift giver (I just remembered getting a vacuum one Christmas) but he was amazing in every other way!!!

    I’m sorry I’ve been SO absent lately. Working two jobs and keeping everything else running somewhat smoothly is taking up all of my energy…I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t written a word in over two months. it’s awful. I hate being so creatively unproductive. I can’t imagine my agent likes it very much either 🙁

    I LOVED this post, Kristen!!
    Keep us learning and laughing 🙂


  8. Slacker Sarahs Rule! And you can SO wire the cutoff branches that are all that’s left in the Christmas Tree lots together to make a beautiful tree on Christmas Eve… Your children will never forget it, and it will become the gift that keeps on giving (as it funds their future therapists’ holiday cruises…)

  9. Reblogged this on Family, Love & Oils and commented:
    Found this too funny not to share. Enjoy!

  10. Do those rules apply to men, too? I think not since we don’t give gifts, dress up for holiday events, clean anything–not even the waste basket in our offices, or know what day those holidays are on. But we know who’s playing whom on Monday night football. Have a happy!

  11. Great post!
    I’m 75% Slacker Sarah, especially when it comes to the gift bags from the Dollar Store. I haven’t wrapped a gift in I don’t know how long! This year, however, I did not procrastinate with the decorations. 😀
    And I used to deliver newspapers once upon a time. My holiday tip that year from one old dear was a pair of nylon stockings.

  12. “In fact, you can’t even sing Deck the Walls with the correct lyrics.” Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s “Deck the Halls” as in “Deck the halls with kerosene, fa-la-la-la-la….”
    The worst gift I’ve ever received was a bilious green jersey (aka sweatshirt) with matching socks. I did the traditional Christmas thing and wore it on the day, only to wonder when the photos were processed who the “ugly old woman” was. I was sixteen.

  13. Reblogged this on Nette.

  14. Reblogged this on Lace Winter and commented:
    When I read Kristen’s “holiday style guide” (are you Amazing Alice, Normal Nancy, or Slacker Sarah?) earlier today, I laughed so hard I drew strange looks from everyone around me. Naturally, I had to share. When you’re stressing out about gifts and decorating and entertaining and the holidays in general, take a moment out for a delightful humor break with Kristen Lamb, and remember: it’s all about finding the joy in life.

  15. Too funny! I totally suck at wrapping presents so it’s a good excuse to let Phil do some. I’m sure he worked at Macy’s in a previous life.

  16. My name is Nancy… except for carols. I know every word of every traditional carol, and can belt them out (possibly slightly off-key) for hours…

  17. This was awesome. I’m a lot of b’s

  18. This was awesome. I a lot of b’s with enough c’s to make the naughty list. I always have the best intentions lol.

    • Rachel Thompson on December 3, 2014 at 9:26 am
    • Reply

    I ignore everything related to the holiday seasons. It’s all a huge time and money wasting distraction. However, if I had a TV ( Many a wise writer said,” if you want to produce, turn off the TV,” So I trashed it.) I’d watch some of the shows like the Grinch, Charlie Brown and a handful of black and white movies.

  19. Mine was half As and half Cs… I’m confused. I need a hug. And some hot chocolate… and a week off of work.

  20. It’s funny how the truly perfect Christmas gifts turn into distant, fuzzy memories, but those other presents, the ones leaving you wondering if the giver was high while shopping, stand out.

    One Christmas my sister decided to make me a jumper (sleeveless dress to be worn over a turtleneck) Stop picturing something stylish. The skirt was made from blue, plaid flannel, and the jumper top was made from heavy, blue, wool felt. To spice up this frock, she appliqued a brown, felt reindeer over the bodice (chest), adding a jingle bell under the animal’s chin. Forget for a minute that I felt like our cat, ringing with every step. Forget that I wasn’t 3 year old. Now, just in case you think the present couldn’t get any worse, picture me, a slim, 5′ 2″ tall, size 4 woman being asked to try the jumper on and model it at my sister’s Christmas party to which she invited her many relatives and some of her neighbors, too. Had the dress been my size, what you’re imagining would have only been dreadful, but my sister made the dress in a size 14. I’ll give you a minute to collect yourself. The good part about the gift is that it makes a great tree skirt.

  21. Worst gift was a teal velour hooded tracksuit from my MIL so I could have “some dress clothes” when I went out with my husband. I told her I loved the color (which I did) and I now sleep in the pants in the winter.

  22. All “C”s

    Not surprised.

    How in the H-E-double-hockey stick am I supposed to get writing done with all these people in my house?

  23. I actually laughed out loud, while reading this. My ex-husband once received a electric razor for Christmas, with hairs still on the blade. I won’t say who the gift came from. http://givingitmybestblog.wordpress.com

    1. OH LORDY! LOL!

  24. I have a confession to make. One year, way back in the last century, I had my Christmas cards mailed and all gifts bought and wrapped by 10 December. Man, I felt so good. I was going to be able to relax and enjoy myself that year. No stress, no strain.

    On 17 December I was in a near-fatal car crash that sent me to the hospital for 10 weeks.

    Now I don’t worry if I don’t have everything finished before Christmas Eve. I figure nothing can happen to me over the holidays if I still have stuff I have to do. Call me a slacker but I consider it life insurance. 😀

  25. Reblogged this on writersback and commented:
    Bravo, Kristen! Even though I was too scared to score myself, your blog certainly had me in stitches, mostly because it’s was so true. Great for anyone who feels a little overwhelmed by the holidays, read this and you’ll feel in a better mood to tackle your holiday traditions with a smile.

  26. I didn’t take the quiz, though I read it through. Amusing, mostly. Some a bit sad, really.

    In fact, this is going to prompt my own Christmas blog post. Thanks!

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