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As Halloween becomes a distant memory, our attention turns to the festive holiday season. 🎉
You might have already started receiving those Save the Dates or invitations for Thanksgiving feasts, office holiday parties, or joyful gift swaps.
But before you dive headfirst into the holiday hustle and bustle, here’s a challenge for you: take a moment to pause and think before you RSVP. 🤔
🌟 Prioritize What Matters 🌟
Before the holiday whirlwind sweeps you off your feet, take a breather to reflect on what you truly love about this time of year. With limited time, money, and energy, it’s crucial to allocate them to what matters most to you and avoid the things that don’t.
My friend, Debbie, for example, makes it a point to visit the German markets near where she lives while making a conscious decision to not accept an invitation just to keep the peace. As she says, she is no longer willing to attend something that “looks good on the outside, but feels terrible on the inside.” 🚫🎉
So in honor of my commitment to be selective, I am sharing my holiday do’s and don’ts.
✨ Here is my Must-Do List for the Holiday Season ✨
- Twinkling Lights Tour: I will take a leisurely drive to see the dazzling holiday lights.
- Thoughtful Gifting: I will dedicate ample time to select meaningful and thoughtful gifts.
- Carolers Delight: I’ll find a spot to enjoy some live Christmas caroling.
- Friends & Fun: I’ll gather with friends who can be both lighthearted and deep.
- Give Back: I’ll create some Blessings Bags to include things like toiletries and personal items to help those struggling with homelessness.
- Support Local: I’ll support small, local businesses whenever possible instead of the big box stores.
Next up…. What I won’t do…
❌ What’s on my “Won’t-Do” List ❌
- No Guilt or Obligation: I won’t accept invitations only because I feel I “should.”
- Negativity Be Gone: I will steer clear of spending time with Negative Nellies and Nelsons.
- Mall-Free Zone: I will not set foot in a crowded mall.
- Meaningless Presents: I refuse to buy meaningless presents just for the sake of giving something.
- Consumerism Alert: I will not fall into the consumerism and overspending trap that the holiday season can be.
By being clearer on my priorities, I already feel better about the upcoming months.
Now it can be tricky to say no to a friend of family member’s invitation whether that’s to a dinner, party, or gift exchange. Naturally, you don’t want to be rude or ungrateful that they thought of you. But that doesn’t mean you should attend. Instead, practice saying no with grace.
🙅♀️ Gracefully Decline with Style 🙅♂️
When it comes to gracefully declining an invitation, it’s an art. Depending on the person or situation, there are a couple of approaches to consider.
For acquaintances and friends outside your inner circle, consider something like:
📩 “I’m unavailable to attend, but thank you for thinking of me.”
Short, sweet, and no room for debate. 💬
One common mistake when saying no is over-explaining. If you say something like, “I can’t make it because I have to bake that night,” you open the door for debate. The other person might respond with, “Can’t you bake earlier and still come?” Then you’re in a back-and-forth discussion. 🎾
For close family and friends, you can be a bit more open and elaborate (but still no over-explaining!). Try something like:
💬 “I’m consciously trying not to overfill my calendar this year, so I can really savor the holidays. I’ve decided to limit my commitments. I hope you understand.”
This approach is gracious and honest. And as hard as it is to remember, the way the other person takes your answer is their responsibility, not yours.
OK it’s your turn!
📆 Create Your “Musts” and “Mustn’ts” List 📆
This week, I encourage you to create your own list of “musts” and “mustn’ts.” 📝 The holiday season passes in the blink of an eye, but with some advance planning, you can make the next couple of months brim with unforgettable memories. 🎁
🌟 You deserve to spend your time during the holidays, and any other time, exactly as you wish. So, instead of dodging conflict, steer clear of regrets.
P.S. I recently recorded a mini-workshop for members of ClutterClearYourLife.com titled “The Secret Sauce for Successful Boundaries.” If you’re not yet a member, consider joining us for this workshop and SO much more.