Holiday Greetings And Gay, Happy Meetings: Surviving December, Part 3

If you’ve been with me during this whole December series, this is what I hope you’re thinking: finally–yes! Part 3 is out and I can’t wait to see what final tips Dorian has for surviving the craziest time of the year. And if you’re not thinking that, I still hope to give you something useful to apply to your own life. So, let’s do it already!

My previous posts gave tips on how to shorten your gifts-to-give list (which gives you time that you can convert into me-time) and a think-outside-the-box way for Christmas cards (more time saved!). Today, I’m sharing tips on how to not feel obligated to go to every single holiday party/gathering/brunch/insert name here for whatever it’s being called. The impetus for this very topic came from my office; a coworker was telling a friend she wasn’t going to be able to go to her party and she told me, “I just feel so bad saying no. Don’t you feel like that?” I got the look on my face I get when I smell something way past its use-by date in the fridge and told her, “Hell, no!” She laughed, and I then went on to tell her that unless she’s lying about why she can’t go then she shouldn’t feel bad. It’s not my place to blast her business on here, but she LEGIT had a handful of reasons for why she could not go and should not have felt any kind of way about having to tell her friend no.

It’s very easy to get booked up fast for every weekend between Thanksgiving and New Year’s because so many people want to have a party. If you’re a party animal then this is probably your favorite time of year because you are in your element. But if you’re a homebody like myself, or don’t have a car so it’s a bit harder for you to get from here to there, or just don’t like making merry, all those “holiday greetings and gay, happy meetings” can start looming like ominous storm clouds on your calendar. How do you make sure that you’re still having as much fun at the 10th one as you did at the 1st? Or, how do you get out of going to all 10 and just go to the ones you especially do not want to miss?

  1. Practice saying “I won’t be able to make it” without any explanation for why. Because really, whatever the reason is is no one’s business but your own, so feel free to keep it to yourself. Also, if the only reason you don’t want to go is because you just don’t want to, that’s okay, too, but how hard is that to explain? If you’re not used to saying no without giving a reason why, you must not have children. Kidding! But really, the more you do it the easier it gets.
  2. If you absolutely have to go to a party you’d rather avoid, set a time limit for being there and stick to it. Telling the host this ahead of time is even better because then you don’t have to look for that person to explain yourself on your way out the door. “Thanks so much for the invitation. I won’t be able to stay long but I will be there.” This is a great way to kill two party birds with one stone–you get face time in at the party but you can still leave early enough to do whatever you’d rather be doing, like Netflix bingeing on your couch in your holiday PJs.
  3. Let the first invitation (and your first acceptance of said invitation) stand. Alone. When you double- or even triple-book yourself, you are asking for an adult meltdown of extreme proportions that no amount of dark chocolate and red wine will be able to prevent. “Dashing through the snow” should be left to the song. If your FOMO won’t yet let you say no to going to more than one party in the same day, don’t fret. You have a whole year to practice saying no with no shame.

My only don’t for avoiding parties is: don’t ever lie. This circles back around to my first tip above about not explaining your reason(s) why. I truly believe in Karma and don’t want a silly lie about why I can’t (read: don’t want to) go to a party to come back to me in the shape of whatever ugliness that would look like. Also, once you start lying, you have to remember what you put into the lie in case it comes up again. For example: you tell a friend you can’t attend a holiday party because you’re getting a facial that day at that exact time. A few weeks later that friend compliments you on your skin still looking so fabulous from that facial and without thinking (because you didn’t remember the lie!) you say, “What are you talking about? I haven’t had a facial in months!” And now, your friend’s face looks confused and their left eye is starting to squint because the thought is coming to their mind that you lied, all at the same time you’re seeing this look on that person’s face which now reminds you that YOU LIED AND YOU FORGOT YOUR LIE! So now you have to excuse yourself quickly and go hide in a hole and avoid that friend for a while.

I hope you went to–and are still going to–as many holiday parties as you want this year, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday season doing exactly whatever it was you wanted to do. On this last day of the year, I wish you a peaceful heart and I thank you, so very much, for taking the time to read this post.

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