OG Tuesday Issue #169

The Assist Newsletter
December 18, 2023
Start your morning with this affirmation:
OG Tuesday Affirmation #169
Today’s checklist: Learn how to appease Iceland’s Yule Cat, stay merry and bright, pack everything you need, and get the scoop on the state of holiday breaks this year.


Holiday traditions to make your own


Holiday rituals and traditions create priceless memories. They don’t have to be as labor-intensive as baking your grandmother’s multi-tiered Italian cream cake topped with marzipan angels. They don’t even have to come from your family.

We hope the ideas below help you carve out precious moments, even when your schedule is beyond busy.

Quick and Easy

  • Have everyone in the fam select three songs to combine into a family holiday playlist.
  • Read (don’t sing) the lyrics to classic carols and discuss how fantastically weird many of them are.
  • Before you say goodnight, ask, “What are you excited to do tomorrow?”
  • Make blanket forts for holiday movie night.
  • Decree one night of the holiday break as “bedtime free.”
  • Don festive matching pajamas and have a cozy game night.
  • Have everyone select a book for one friend or family member. Pick a night to swap books and cozy up for some quiet group reading time.
Takes Some Time But Also Totally Doable
  • Choose an uncharacteristically decadent breakfast to enjoy on one special day. (Stuffed French toast with a side of eggs benedict, for example.)
  • Agree to shout “I am a cotton-headed ninny muggins!” ala Buddy the Elf each time you see someone dressed like Santa.
  • Have everyone sleep under the tree or in your main family room one night. Use sleeping bags if you have them, and if not, you can easily get cozy with a pile of blankets and pillows.
  • Volunteer as a group. Choose a local nonprofit or charity whose values align with your family’s.
  • Use cotton batting from your local craft store to spin fake cobwebs around the house or on the Christmas tree. (This tradition may seem like it pairs with a different U.S. holiday, but in the Ukraine, cobwebs mean luck.)
  • Celebrate Noche Buena by staying up until midnight to eat delicious foods and open presents.
  • Craft your own colorful paper lanterns to honor a tradition from the Philippines (Parols).
  • Celebrate the Winter solstice by burning a yule log or making wreaths from found greenery.
A Lot But Also So Worth It 
  • Go shopping for new outfits to appease the fearsome Yule Cat from Icelandic folklore. Legend says it has an appetite for people who didn’t get new clothes for the new year.
  • Read and “adopt” letters to Santa through the U.S. postal service’s Operation Santa.
  • Go all in and agree to celebrate the holiday with only DIY gifts and treats.
  • Coordinate with other parents to host holiday movie marathons for all the kids. Everyone hosts once. Everyone gets a few precious hours to finish shopping, wrap presents, or maybe even relax.
  • Bundle up and go roller-skating as a group like people do in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Reinterpret the lyrics of the classic carol The 12 Days of Christmas with themed gifts and homemade foods.


Unwrap Adventure – The Perfect Gift is Here


Let's Roam Gift of Adventure

🌍 Step into a world of adventure this holiday season with Let’s Roam’s Scavenger Hunts!

Ideal for couples seeking laughter and connection, our scavenger hunts are the perfect mix of romance and exploration.

Whether it’s your first date or your hundredth, make each moment count with playful challenges and heartwarming discoveries.

Gift your partner the joy of togetherness and the excitement of the hunt.

👉 Shop Now


Be merry and bright — not burnt out


It’s hard to keep your days merry and bright while suffering from holiday burnout. Get everything done and maintain a sense of joyful calm by taking restorative breaks.

Strategy: The 52/17 method. Touted as a productivity secret sauce, this break format involves 52 minutes of deeply focused work followed by a restorative 17-minute break.


  • Work for 52 minutes
  • Break for 17 minutes
  • Repeat

Key to success: Your breaks must be genuinely restorative. Defaulting to checking your emails or your socials may be counterproductive as these activities can overload your brain’s decision-making center. You end up feeling more tired, and more grumpy, than you were pre-break.

Restorative Break Ideas

  • Call a friend or loved one to talk about holiday plans.
  • Listen to your favorite holiday music.
  • Do a quick household chore.
  • Wrap a gift.
  • Make yourself hot chocolate.
  • Stretch.
  • Put up one decoration.


Know Thyself With This Self-Evaluation Template


FigJam's Self-Evaluation Template

With 2024 quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to pause and take a moment to look back on the year and check in with yourself.

It also means something else may be creeping up on you, too — an end of year performance review.

Use FigJam’s free handy Self-Evaluation Template to help you list out all your accomplishments from the year, and identify any areas that can use improvement or goals that need updating.

You’ll be happy you took the time now to get ahead later.

Get the free self-evaluation template


What to pack for your holiday getaway


Holiday trips spark joy, but sometimes, the lead up can get hectic. There are so many things to do before you depart, and you don’t want any unfinished business hanging over your head. When you leave, you want to be ready to eat, drink, and be merry.

Personalize this checklist to make sure “forgetting important things” isn’t on your stress list.

  • Everyone’s presents. (You might be surprised how often these become the one tragic thing people forget.)
    • Many experts recommend leaving them unwrapped and bringing along folded wrapping paper to avoid tears in transit.)
  • Coordinating separates. (The more potential outfit matches you bring, the easier getting dressed will be, even if surprise holiday parties enter the mix.)
  • Footwear options, ideally that match every piece you pack.
  • At least one activewear outfit.
    • If you’re a workout nut anxious about missing your gym dates, then toss a few resistance bands into your bag. They provide a lot of value for something that weighs practically nothing and takes up practically no space.
  • Layers upon layers.
  • One book you can’t wait to read.
  • Go-to devices and chargers.
  • Travel documents, including passports and passes. Double check the current requirements for all locations you’re traveling in and out of.
  • A power bank, for keeping devices juiced on the go.
  • Some emergency snacks, such as protein bars.
  • Instant coffee packets, just in case.
  • An empty water bottle to make it easier to stay hydrated during your trip.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Airborne/Emergen-C.
  • Essential toiletries. Counting on your host to provide everything you need, even if your host is a hotel or house share, can leave you without the daily staples that help you feel your best.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications, especially for headaches and congestion.
  • Eye mask. (You might be surprised how well they really help you sleep.)
  • Facial wipes.
  • Compact travel blankets.
  • Ear plugs.


The State of the Holiday Break


Year after year, surveys highlight a startling tendency: People say the holidays are a time to rest, restore, and reconnect with loved ones, and yet…most of them plan to work, intend to stay connected to work, feel pressured to work, or feel guilty about not working.
  • A Slack survey found that 60% of respondents will leave their work notifications on.
  • The same survey revealed about half of people feel pressured to be available 24/7.
  • Nearly half of people who say they disconnect during breaks still check their work messages at least once a day.
  • Nearly all, a whopping 91% of U.S. workers, say they can’t even consider taking time off for vacation due to heavy workloads.

These trends hold strong, even as evidence of the benefits of vacations piles higher each year.

Take time off (and enjoy it, too) by countering the common beliefs that lead to vacay guilt.

If you believe foregoing vacations demonstrates your dedication and increases your chance of earning a promotion …

  • Counter with this wisdom: Statistics actually show that people who take 11+ vacation days earned more raises than people who take 10 or fewer days.
If you believe you’ll never be able to catch up on the work you’ll miss …
  • Counter with this wisdom: If you haven’t taken a vacation for a while, your productivity might be slowed by burnout. Taking a vacation could give your productivity and creativity a boost, actually making it easier to catch up when you return.
Still feeling anxious? Do these things before you check out:
  • Recalibrate your remaining workload and make your return-to-work to-do list while work is still fresh on your mind.
  • Write (and don’t forget to activate!) a friendly and honest automatic reply email message that clarifies your intention to disconnect over the holiday break.
  • Set up Boomerang to redirect your emails to arrive the day after you return from your break.


Stuff we’re loving this week


💋 Beauty: We’ve tried it all from heatless curlers to long barrel wands — but the 1 inch curling iron from Drybar is one we keep coming back to for beach waves that last for days.

😋 Pantry: Looking for a meal replacement bar that isn’t full of ingredients you can’t pronounce and doesn’t taste like chalk? Try SANS Meal Bars (they have other flavors too in case coconut isn’t your thing).

📊 Report: CareerBuilder’s Hiring Managers: State of Hiring and Retention Report is the holy grail for anyone involved in hiring and retention at work. Key topics include the current state of hiring, how offer packages are changing, 2023 retention trends, and the future of work environments.

🛠️ Tool: If you do any kind of social media posting on a regular basis, check out Planable for free. It helps you organize and schedule all your posts for different channels in one place, and let’s you collab with others easily.



The Assist's Corporate Holiday Gift Guide

Ridde Me This


I have a heart that never beats,
I have a home but I never sleep.
I can take a man’s house and build another’s,
And I love to play games with my many brothers.
I am a king among fools.
Who am I?

⭐ Answer here.

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