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Lisa Scottoline: Homey for the holidays

Feelings of happiness or pressure? The holidays are coming.

The holidays are coming.

Do you feel happiness? Or pressure?

If the latter, you’ve come to the right place.

Because Mother Mary has the cure.

Let me explain.

The horror begins at Halloween.

And not the fun kind of horror, which involves kids in costumes and fun-size Snickers bars, but the kind that tells you you have to go apple-picking, then come home and make an apple pie, but you’re not allowed to eat it because it's too fattening.

Or the kind that tells you you have to visit a pumpkin patch, pick a pumpkin, then come home and carve it, then bake the seeds into a snack that nobody wants.

Mind you, I'm not putting any of these things down.

I go by the motto, Don't Yuck My Yum.

The internet definition of the term is, don’t hate on things that people love.

And I totally agree with that.

So if you want to go crazy on Halloween, decorate your house, wear funny costumes, and even throw a party, go for it.

But I was in the mall yesterday, and everywhere I turned were signs for the holidays, and all of the signs were pushing one thing, but it wasn't love, peace, or understanding.

It was perfection.


And another one promoted gifts that were “absolutely perfect for the holidays.”

I even saw a display for candles that smelled “holiday-perfect.”

That's not even good grammar.

Evidently, your house not only has to be perfect, it has to smell perfect.

My house smells perfectly like dogs.

Is that perfect enough?

I want to talk to the people who feel the pressure for holiday perfection, beginning about now.

Because you don't have to be perfect.

Instead, you can enjoy the holidays in a manner that doesn't involve a glue gun.

Again, I know lots of people who like to decorate their house for the holidays, and they should enjoy themselves. But if you don't enjoy that, you shouldn't feel pressure to decorate. And the last thing you need to worry about at the holidays is perfection.

I’m here to tell you it’s OK to be lazy.

Put your feet up.

Make eggnog and drink it all yourself.

Or better yet, buy eggnog and drink it all yourself.

Because it comes down to the question of what you think is perfect in a home, and Mother Mary taught me that your home is already perfect.

That is, if you're in it, and so are the people you love.

If there are people you hate in your home, you should divorce them.

To return to point, Mother Mary did not do anything for the holidays except start cooking. She loved to cook, and we loved to eat, so it worked out perfectly.

She didn't decorate for the holidays in any way.

We got a Christmas tree only the night before, and you would have liked our tree, if you really like tinsel.

Our tree was covered with tinsel.

You would think Reynolds Wrap came over and threw up.

And I remember the tinsel was super heavy, probably because it contained lead.

And maybe even asbestos.

I saw an ad for holiday candles, and it said: “Nothing is quite as cozy as a candlelit abode, and the decadent aromas of the winter season should be embraced in your favorite spaces.”

I'm so confused by this, I don’t know where to start.

I love candles as much as the next girl, but who has a candlelit abode?

And what if your “favorite space” isn’t your candlelit abode, but the crook of Bradley Cooper’s neck?

It could happen, people.

And as for decadent smells, don't get me started.

I remember with great nostalgia the decadent smells of the holidays in our house, when I was growing up.

The aroma of ravioli was in the air, and also the smoke of More 100 cigarettes, courtesy of Mother Mary.

Bottom line, Christmas at the Flying Scottolines may have been carcinogenic.

But there was love, and carbohydrates.

And that was enough, and everything.

Happy holidays!

Look for Lisa and Francesca’s humor collection, “I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses,” and the paperback of Lisa’s bestselling domestic thriller, “Someone Knows”, in stores now.