5 Things I’m Saying “No” to This Holiday Season

published Dec 14, 2016
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(Image credit: Christopher Broe)

Let’s be real: The holiday season is stressful. While a part of me gets super excited for all the delicious feasts, the festive decorations, the gifts, and the magic that fills the air, another part of me feels overwhelmed. This holiday season, I’m committed to letting go of certain things and taking the pressure off myself so that I can go back to just enjoying the holidays like when I was a kid. Here, five things I’m saying no to this holiday season.

No to Hectic Shopping

This is one tradition I’ve been saying no to for years and will continue to for probably forever. I worked in retail while I was in college and Black Friday was an absolute nightmare. I swore I would never put myself through that again not even as a shopper. You can still score some pretty sweet deals shopping online throughout the season, so going in-store is just not worth the stress for me.

No to Shopping at the Last Minute

This happens to me every single year and I’ve figured out that the reason I procrastinate on shopping for gifts is because I can’t decide what to buy for my loved ones. So this year, I’m just going to ask them what they want. Sure, they won’t be surprised when they open their gifts, but I won’t be super stressed shopping for gifts at the last minute and I’ll know for sure they are getting something they really want. It’s a win all around.

No to the Need for Perfection

During the holiday season, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves for everything to be perfect—from buying the perfect gift to cooking the perfect meal. When we’re so focused on how we think things should be, we forget to actually enjoy the moment, which is what the holidays are all about, right? So what if the tablescape isn’t Pinterest-worthy or if the presents are not perfectly wrapped. Years from now, we’re not going to remember those little things anyway.

No to Working While on Vacation

As a freelance writer, this one is particularly hard for me. I truly love what I do and I’m a bit of a workaholic, so learning to slow down once in a while is a skill I’m still trying to master. This season, I’m trying my best to take the holidays off—completely. No checking emails. No writing to-do lists. No nothing. I want to really savor those special moments with family and I can’t do that if I’m constantly thinking about what I need to get done the next day. Every year, I write out a mini “holiday bucket list” full of tasks like “bake cookies,” “listen to a holiday album,” and “watch a cheesy Christmas movie.” Most years, the holiday season flies by so quickly I never do any of those things, but this year will be different.

No to Things I Don’t Really Want to Do

Yes, the holiday season is all about spending quality time with friends and family, but I also think it’s important to carve out some quality me-time. The end of year is a good time for self-reflection—it’s a time I like to slow down a bit, write out my goals for the next year, de-clutter my space, and just relax so that I can feel refreshed and ready to take on the new year. Every time I say yes to things I don’t really want to do, I’m also saying no to the things that really matter to me.