Welcome to our series on “how to survive the holidays and enjoy them.”

How to say no, it sure does sound easy. It’s just a small two-letter word, yet at times it can be so hard to say that tiny word. The holidays can be full of demands, questions, wants and needs. Our parents want us to go to their house for Christmas, but our aunt wants us to be at their house. The kids want to be with the cousins, and your spouse wants to be with their family. Oh and one house is having a ham dinner and the other house is having their traditional Italian Christmas dinner. You can’t tell one person you won’t be coming to their house because it will hurt their feelings. So you have to make a way to have the time to stop by every body’s house, sometime throughout the holiday season.


Whew!! If you can resonate with any of the above, you are not alone. Maybe your situations aren’t quite like this but maybe you can resonate with the fact that the holiday season is a crazy busy time of year. Sometimes we are so busy and have so many things going on that we don’t get to actually ENJOY the season.


One way to start enjoying the season is saying “NO!” It sounds simple, but it’s very difficult for some. If you struggle with this, the first thing I want you to know is, it is okay to say no. You cannot please everyone. Or, you may please everyone but sacrifice yourself in the process.


Here are a few tips:

  • Make a list of everything coming up this holiday season
  • Make a list of parties
  • Make a list of presents that need to be bought
  • In these lists make a list of things from most importance to least importance
  • Start these lists early
  • Make plans early
  • Adjust things around your schedule, not around everyone else’s schedule
  • Make time for your family, your immediate nuclear family

When something comes up and you feel the anxiety build, say “NO!” Sure, you can adjust your schedule and move things around. It is inevitable that that is going to happen. But when things can’t change or you just don’t want things to change, say “NO!”

You can do this!!!

Stay tuned for Part two: Who Can You Say No To?