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The most wonderful time of the year? We get it. The holidays are stressful. The bickering relatives, endless to-do lists and lineups galore. Not to mention toys that are sold out, tape that has run out and nowhere to hide (the presents). We’re here to help with solutions to common holiday problems, so as the too-short days of December fly by, you can keep your sanity – and sense of humour – intact.

Table of Contents


Lucy Waverman

The food

Bye-bye dry turkey, hello dry brining

A lot of people are scared to cook turkey – or resigned to eating overcooked, dry meat. Lucy Waverman’s solution? Dry brining, which results in juicy, tender and flavourful meat, without the mess of wet brining.

Flo Leung/The Globe and Mail

The no-work solution to hosting holiday dinners: party platters

The season for socializing is upon us, but feeding a houseful of guests can be stressful. Enter the party platter, a board loaded with ingredients that looks as good as it tastes and takes no time to throw together for any meal, even dessert.

12 strategies for a healthier holiday eating season

December is a calorie minefield, but there are ways to enjoy the season without worrying about weight gain come January. Dietitian Leslie Beck has a plan for healthy habits through the holiday season.

How to avoid binging on holiday treats

What can you do to resist eating the entire cookie platter, or reaching for that third helping of stuffing? First of all, forget any techniques for strengthening your willpower.


Alena Zamotaeva/Getty Images

The drinks

Seven ways to minimize a hangover

There’s no magic bullet to ward off a hangover (except time, of course). But dietitian Leslie Beck offers seven strategies that might offer some relief – and still let you enjoy yourself.

Strategies for a no-booze holiday season

What if you’re avoiding alcohol and the dangers of problem drinking? Tips for getting through party season, and how to accommodate non-drinkers as a holiday host.


KAGAN MCLEOD/The Globe and Mail

The guests

The five types of problem people you meet at holiday parties – and how to deal with them

Holiday soirées can be fun, but they can also be full of socially awkward conversationalists. David Eddie offers a guide to the personalities you’re likely to meet at the punch bowl – and how to gracefully move on from them.

How to survive dinner party guests from hell

From people who show up early to friends who never return the invite, David Eddie’s guide to handling some of the more common scenarios of hosting (sometimes uncivilized) people for dinner.

JEANNIE LEE/The Globe and Mail

An introvert’s guide to getting through the holidays

Hate small talk? Anyone can learn to schmooze successfully, so break out of your shell with these tips for surviving a party from start to finish.

Is it time to stop inviting ungrateful relatives over for Christmas?

Are you dreaming of a quiet and stress-free Christmas? David Eddie weighs in on one family’s problems with rude relatives.

How do you handle not being invited to a friend’s holiday party?

We’re social creatures, so naturally we feel it keenly when we’re not included in people’s events. But here’s something to make peace with: You can’t be invited to everything.


Photograph by Joseph Saraceno; Styling by Wilson Wong/The Globe and Mail

The gift-giving

Too tired for the mall? Here are the best gifts available online for every personality on your list

Shop from the comfort of your couch with our roundup of presents for everyone from the hypebeast to the altruist.

Tips to navigate holiday obligations when you’re on a tight budget

Around this time of year, we’re bombarded with exhortations to spend, spend, spend – and give to charity – and if you’re not feeling flush it can be tough to know how to handle it all.

What do you do when a family member never says thank you for gifts?

There are those who go to the effort of sending a thank-you note in the mail. And then there are those who don’t even acknowledge a gift you’ve just handed them.


Diane Labombarbe/istock

The travelling

How to avoid the pitfalls of a family getaway at the holidays

For most families, it’s only a matter of time before Hallmark intentions meet Griswold ending. But before you start planning an escape to Hawaii, consider this: You might make things worse.

How to make room in your suitcase for presents

If you’re travelling over the holidays, chances are you’re coming home with gifts. So plan ahead and be ruthless about what you pack.

Tips to breeze through airport security over the holidays

Don’t be that person holding up the security lineup. Know the rules and be prepared.

From flight delays to toddler meltdowns, the ultimate holiday travel survival guide

Travel-industry insiders offer their expertise to help you deal with the most common pitfalls of the season with as little stress as possible.

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