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Eat, drink & go broke

Celeste Gish is a freelance writer and recovering Gonzo Mom based in the Savannah area. Her work has been published in ABA Bank Marketing, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Health Management Technology, Advance for Health Information Profe...

10 Tips for a Gonzo holiday

Forget Martha Stewart and Paula Deen. This year, kick back and treat yourself and your loved ones to a Gonzo-style holiday.

Gonzo Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not back to school after summer vacation. We're talking about Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa and any number of other celebrations rooted in the fact the only way to survive the coldest, darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is to eat, drink and go broke.

 

Like Hunter S. Thompson, the Godfather of Gonzo journalism, famous for his ability to consume mass quantities, we Gonzo Moms have a style all our own: gritty, irreverent and sometimes downright scary. When it comes to the holidays, let's just say we're the least likely to micromanage the second grade holiday party, sew 5,000 sequins onto the handmade felt stockings, host the neighborhood cookie swap or be finished shopping before December 25.

Tip 1: Deck the halls

First off, it's time to take down the witches, bats and scarecrows from Halloween but don't put the faux skulls back in the attic yet. You'll be surprised how festive they look when spray-painted gold and nestled in a bed of fresh greenery intertwined with tiny white lights.

Tip 2: Decorate first, then celebrate

Special note: Alcohol and glue guns do not mix. If you insist on channeling Martha Stewart do it before cocktails, not during or after.

Tip 3: Prepare for holiday guests

Speaking of decorating, some friends and family may find the yellow CAUTION tape wrapped around the stove disconcerting and counter-festive so be sure to remove it before your holiday guests arrive. (And arrive they will. Like it or not, the holidays are all about family so grit your teeth and bite the bullet.) Likewise, guest rooms should be raked out and fumigated.

Tip 4: Safety first, especially around the little ones

If you are lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who can drink her weight in Chardonnay, you have the perfect excuse to stock up on refreshing adult beverages. Boxed wine, more economical and safer than glass bottles—especially around children—is the first choice of conscientious Gonzo Moms everywhere.

Tip 5: Jump on the "green" bandwagon

As an added bonus, you'll find the cardboard wine boxes much easier to haul to the recycling center than glass bottles. If you want to go greener and you're feeling crafty, why not make a wreath out of Hubby's empty beer cans? (See Tip #2.)

Tip 6: Dress for the season

Leave the cozy, colorful sweaters emblazoned with Santa and Rudolf to the June Cleaver clones and the Alpha Moms. Any Gonzo Mom will tell you that the holidays are the perfect time to cut loose and get in touch with one's inner Courtney Love. The best party attire involves sequins, fringe, feathers, animal print or thigh-high leather boots. Or even better, all five at once for the full Widow Cobain. And what better time to surprise that special someone with a new tattoo or piercing that only he will see? (Wink, wink.)

Tip 7: Shop like a pro

What recession? It's never too early—or too late—in the season to spend, spend, spend. Thanks to modern inventions like the gift card and Federal Express, the miracle of the Internet and good, old-fashioned cash, there's no reason to waste any time—or gas—thinking of or finding the perfect gift for anyone.

Tip 8: Baking is for sissies

Baking!!? Hello??! Ever heard of Betty Crocker? Sara Lee? The Pillsbury Doughboy? As every self-respecting Gonzo Mom knows, life is waaay too short to spend time, effort and money baking fatty, calorie-laden treats. Especially when there are Mimosas to be guzzled and cheesy Lifetime movies to be watched on TV. If you're hell-bent on forcing your sugar jones on innocent bystanders, please have the decency not to make the rest of us feel guilty by baking from scratch. That's what the supermarket bakery is there for.

Tip 9: Cooking is optional

As for the preparing the celebratory feast, think of all the money you'll save by schmoozing off someone else. There must be someone in your extended family or your significant other's whom you haven't offended recently. So grab that Crackberry and get on it.

Tip 10: Don't arrive empty-handed

Just because you're domestically challenged doesn't mean you can't contribute to the festivities. Offer to bring your world-famous Bloody Marys—made from the secret family recipe.

Cheers and here's to a Gonzo holiday!

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