Michelle Mitchell

True Parent 6

Build A Better Parent

The Indoorsy Type

A Very Blended Family

Embracing the Worst Holiday Ever

Ask the Parent!

An iPad to Remember

The Secret Weapon

Christmas Comes but Twice a Year

A Mother Inside

Snap to attention, soldiers! It’s holiday time again, and you know what that means: building an impenetrable wall around your sanity, because the crap... is about... to hit... the fan. Here’s the briefest sampling of what you can expect over the next two months:

Annoying guests flooding in from out of town; schools slamming their doors in the faces of your bored children; once-plump bank accounts being drained dry; shopping malls filling with suicidal lemmings; holiday dinners threatened by Salmonella poisoning; attending holiday after-work parties (with people you can’t stand during work); watching your muffin top slowly expand over your belt and drip down to your shoes; last minute scrambling because your kid’s Santa list has changed three damn times; hiring—out of sheer desperation—that freaky babysitter who also works part-time at Hot Topic; living with a family that has little to no sympathy for your raging hangover; and shutting down all systems except for life support while being dragged to the Christmas tree farm/Santa’s Workshop/neighborhood caroling/(and if God really hates you) church.

That’s why you’ve got to start getting mentally prepared now. It’s not that difficult, really—just treat the holidays as if you were getting ready for an apocalypse of some sort, or a 9.2 magnitude subduction zone earthquake. Maybe you’ll get through it, maybe you won’t... the important thing is to manage your expectations and don’t panic. Easier said than done, right? Yes, but lucky for you, you’ve got True Parent in your mental bomb shelter.

Sure, every issue of True Parent is about preserving your sanity—but we’re kicking it into high gear for this special “Holiday Sanity” edition. This issue is devoted to getting you through the holiday season alive, and with some semblance of mental health. We’ve got top experts weighing in on preparing yourself for the holiday challenges that lie ahead, avoiding family drama, finding indoor winter activities, and even how to have the “Santa talk.” And our “True Stories” section will once again prove that you’re not suffering through holidays alone, while reminding you how good you’ve actually got it. And as usual, you’ll discover tons of fun stuff to do (or avoid) with our highly curated calendar of events, AND a special “Get Out of That Kitchen” food section, featuring the best places in town to get catered holiday grub!

Look. You’re gonna be fine. Just stay sharp, protect your sanity, don’t expect perfection, and keep cool. Or, as a certain snowman might put it, “Stay frosty.”