A guide for festivities, family and food this holiday season

As you prepare to stock up for the busy holiday season, remember to put a case of the funnies at the top of your list to keep you going all season long. With 46 million parties planned this holiday season, preparation and a sense of humor are key. With a few simple steps you can make the most of your time with family and friends as you run the party gauntlet.

Planning a party? Remember to check your gourmet guru tendencies at the door. The holiday season is all about creating and sharing memories with the people you love, not about who has the best holiday decorations or turkey stuffing. Since everyone should be able to live it up this time of year, including the host, keep it simple. Put down the gravy foam frother, save yourself the trouble and bust open a can. And don't sweat it if things don't go according to plan. If your stuffing goes up in flames, order in Chinese and reminisce over fried rice about all the would-have-been-goodies your mom burned back in the day. Because making memories is what it's all about.

Kicking back with family at the holidays can be both a blast and a drag (especially when your cheek-pinching, second-cousin-twice-removed is taking over your room for the weekend). So get to your happy place and brace yourself. Just think, for every pinch you endure with a smile, that's one less lump of coal you'll see in your stocking. So, laugh it off and focus on the things you are grateful for and what it is you love about your family. And, if all else fails remember the holidays are not forever. You can always plan a post-holiday lunch with friends, who can function as your very own self-esteem team. They'll also eat up your stories about Great-Aunt Edna.

Turducken and shrimp and chocolate, oh my! With the average American attending 4.9 holiday parties this season, discomfort related to overindulgence of food and drink can become the unwanted gift that just keeps on giving. This year Pepto-Bismol is teaming up with its favorite holiday elf, who also happens to be a shrimp boat captain, to encourage people to enjoy their favorite holiday treats safe in the knowledge that Pepto has them covered (use as directed).

Pepto-Bismol will release a series of Web videos throughout the holiday season. A virtual oracle on the holiday season, the videos address quirky holiday questions including: What is the best way to eat a gingerbread man? As you will see, Pepto's straight-talking elf is not shy about sharing his wisdom on all your favorite holiday party indulgences! The web videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/peptobismol.

So this party season, don't sweat the small stuff, remember to laugh and take time to reflect and let those around you know that you are grateful to have them around at this special time.