The holidays are quickly approaching and you know what that means — stress and frustration. While Christmas time is a very fun and festive time for everyone, it can also be quite the hectic holiday. From gift buying, party planning, cooking, and trying to organize it all, we can get pretty stressed out.
This past week I had the privilege of speaking with super mom and party planner extraordinaire Joely Fisher. Many of you may remember Joely for her roles on Ellen, Desperate Housewives, and most recently, Joely starred opposite Brad Garrett in the FOX television comedy series, Til Death (now in syndication), as the brash and sardonic Joy Stark, a long-suffering wife in a 20-year marriage.
Joely and I talked for a bit about the holidays and how to handle large families, forgiveness, and those last minute party planning surprises that pop up out of nowhere. She knows all too well about the struggles of being a wife and mother, both on and off the video screen. Joely and her husband of fourteen years have five children — Cameron, Collin, Skylar Grace, True Harlow, and her beautiful adopted daughter, Olivia Luna. As a mom myself, all I wanted to know is how in the world does she keep it all together during the holidays?
Jennifer: Hi Joely! 5 Minutes for Mom is about bringing moms together to help share our struggles and strengths. What are a few “5 minute tips” that you can offer our readers that will help them feel more organized this Christmas holiday?
Joely: Well I think for me, if I wasn’t an actress or in the entertainment business I probably would plan parties. I really, really believe that. I have gotten it down to a science with full checklists and everything. In fact, I recently had our school fundraiser that I chaired and had it here at my home for our preschool. My sister and I own a business here in Los Angeles called the Treehouse Social Club where we do kids birthday parties and it’s a creative place just for children. So I feel like, you know, I’m a bit of a pro at party planning.
I’ve been doing this for a lot of years now, so the holidays are just like my party planning time. I look at it like everything has a time and a place and when we do certain things that work, keep doing it. Lists and plans are the things that work for me. Spontaneity might throw me off so I need to have lists, plans, and more plans!
Another thing that I do is shop for Christmas presents all year long and sort of tuck them away. I learned that from my mother. Always keep little gifts handy for that spur of the moment “I need a gift” situation. I have more stuff than you can imagine! It’s funny because people will say, “Oh I’ve got to go get this thing” or, “I need to bring a gift,like a hostess gift” and I’ll be like “Wait a second, I’ve got it in the closet!”. So I’m like one of those kind of people in that I try to always be prepared.
Jennifer: So true Joely. I love that you try your best to plan and organize. Are you always this organized, or do you ever feel like it’s all coming unglued?
Joely: You know I’m a Scorpio but I have a lot of Virgo in me and for a lot of people that’s like What? She’s speaking Greek! I am really a left brain right brain type of person. I go back and forth between being super organized and having sorts of little stacks of things here and there and then being also a fancy hoarder. I don’t always have it together.
Jennifer: On the Show Til Death, your mother-in-law is a very nagging and critiquing person, so how do you handle guests that come in with that type of attitude during a holiday get together? How do you handle those bossy relatives?
Joely: I think as far as relatives are concerned you have to put on that cloak of super mom and let go and let God for the holidays. I mean you have too, even if it’s only for that moment and then the rest of the year you can go back to fighting with each other. But you have to understand that everybody has their own way of dealing with the holidays and their own experience and their own history of how they feel about certain things and, you know, maybe they don’t have what you have or, you know, they may have been traumatized at some point, not to be dramatic but just be mindful and put your arms around them and embrace people and forget about the differences.
Let it go. That’s my advice. Life is very short and, especially this time of year people have their issues. But this is a time to celebrate so I would say that’s my word of advice.
Want to learn more about Joely Fisher?
Til Death is now in syndication! Before interviewing Joely, I had not had a chance to watch the show, however I was sent a couple of episodes to preview. Now that I have seen it, I will definitely be tuning in to my cable provider’s channel so I can watch every episode from Season 1 to Season 4.
Til Death follows the life of Joy Stark, a wife of 20 years who is married to Eddie, played by Brad Garrett. The half hour comedy show explores marriage, with real life topics — but with a humorous twist that many American families deal with today.
I asked Joely about the show and she told me that not many people knew about Til Death. In fact, this is what she shared with me:
I’m telling you darling girl you’re in the majority of having never seen an episode. Here we were doing this great little show that Brad used to call “the little show that could” – you know kind of like The Little Engine That Could. We were working as hard as shows like Modern Family, however we just never were super supported and publicized right and then time slots moved. So I’m so happy that you’re getting to see it now. That’s how a lot of people are discovering the show. That’s why I’m so glad that it is now syndicated and you get to see the episodes and catch up on them because there is some funny, funny stuff in each one.
I think that moms and wives out there will watch some of the episodes and say, “Oh my God, you’ve been following me with a camera!” I’ve actually had people say, “Stop it, that is exactly what my husband and I did the other day — exactly what we were fighting about!
I mean, there is some very real scenarios that we deal with on the show. It’s very real and authentic and I’m glad people are getting to see it now because I’m very proud of our work.
I don’t know about you, but I am off to find out when this will be available on my tv so that I can record it and not miss one episode! I can always use a good laugh and Joely promises that and more. To find out more about Til Death and when it will be available in your area, visit Sony.com. You can also connect with Joely through Facebook.
This is part of a promotional campaign with One2One Network. All opinions are our own.