How do I keep from overeating at holiday parties?

Wear a set of Crest whitening strips to any holiday event where food will be served. Have you ever tried to eat, drink, or talk while wearing whitening strips?  Not only will you not eat at party A & B you’ll likely get de-invited to party C, D, E, F, G…so your problem is solved.  If you don’t have any whitening strips, try borrowing a teenager’s retainer. Will this really work? Sure will.

How can I keep from gaining weight during the holiday?

Whether you are eating and drinking at home, at a party, or at a restaurant, follow this simple rule: If it tastes good, spit it out. Will this really work? Sure will, guaranteed.

How do I keep from overspending on Christmas gifts?

Take the pruning shears to your social network and eliminate most of your friends and family members. You’re not expected to give gifts to people that you’ve ostracized. By the way, you can always welcome these folks back into your life in early January, or at least several weeks before your birthday. Does this really work? Sure does. Trust me.

How do I buy gifts for extended family members when I don’t know what they want or need?

Ask them to fill out the gift registry at Dollar General. Will they really do that?  Sure, they will.

How can I keep from drinking too much during the office holiday party?

Drink too much at your desk before the party. Will that really help? Sure! And as a bonus it could lead to a new job in early 2020.

I’m afraid that saying “Merry Christmas” may offend someone but I don’t like just saying, “Happy Holidays.” Any suggestions?

Try wishing people a “Miserable Christmas” as apparently some people are offended by the word “merry.” Ummm, do you think that will go over well? Sure, but you won’t know till you try it.

I get weary of the cliché question, “Are you ready for Christmas?” What can I give besides a cliché answer?

Try one or more of these responses. They must be said with a straight face to be effective.

A. “The real question is whether Christmas is ready for ME.”

B. “I just got out of prison so I’m a little bit behind.”

C. “Are you referring to celebrating the Incarnation or to joining the masses in being seduced by constant marketing and being deceived by the illusion that mindless consumerism will produce contentment?”

I’d like to give my son something special I made instead of just something I bought at a store, but I’m not sure he’ll really appreciate it.

Sure, he will. What kid wouldn’t prefer to get a knitted afghan instead of an Xbox?

Ramon Presson

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin ( and the author of several books. Reach him at

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