Hey guys, it’s your buddy James here. You might know me from creating sandwich art at your local uptown Waterloo grilled bread restaurant, or from applying extremely dangerous headlocks as professional wrestler, Jimbo Jones. 

If you don’t know me personally, let me fill you in on a little secret: I’m a pretty happy guy. A shake-your-hand, give-ya-a-hug, look you-in-the-eyes “it’s GREAT to see ya!” kind of guy.  

Because of my golden retriever-esque demeanor, the holiday season is my bread and butter. But if you aren’t shaking with excitement at the prospect of tinsel headaches and face kissing your great grandmother, allow me to lend you some tips to get into the holiday spirit. 

ONE

Dutch extreme athlete Iceman Wim Hof preaches the benefits of “controlled hyperventilation,” brought on by extreme cold as a way of combatting arthritis, diabetes, depression and even a lack of seasonal cheer. 

Unlike Wim, you don’t need to sit in a manufactured box of ice or swim in the arctic sea. As citizens of Waterloo Region, we are blessed with dozens of busy hockey arenas. All you need to do to feel at ease is roll behind a hockey house, find their beautiful pile of rink shavings, strip down, dive in and feel yourself overcome with seasonal cheer. 

TWO

Do not, under any circumstances, avoid over indulgence. You have to attend 13 work, family and intramural sport league parties, so the least you can do is keep your body happily fuelled. Eat the flaming pudding, drink the festive punch, help yourself to thirds!!! Additional cushioning will not only keep you toasty, but soften any unfortunate icy slips.

THREE

Nothing makes me happier than the smells of Christmas: delicious cookies being baked, freshly cut coniferous trees (I’m a Fraser Fir kind of boy if you were wondering) and Aunt Barb’s famous Diana Sauce meatballs. 

When matters of nasal emotion are concerned, I like to refer to Martin Prince’s wise words from Simpsons season six, episode 24, “Lemons of Troy”: “here’s a tip lads — put a pinch of sage in your boots, and all day long a spicy scent is your reward!” 

Where Martin is conservative, I consider myself an extremist. Yes, my holiday pessimists, poultry seasoning is the perfect dry winter deodorant, freshly snipped pine branches can be directly affixed to your limbs with duct tape. And don’t forget the Diana Sauce — a simple application to the inner wrists and nape are enough to remind everyone at the dinner table how much you love this time of year.  

Armed with these tips and a fresh holiday attitude, no doubt you will do me proud. Good luck, and remember you can never apply too much Diana Sauce.