I’m just going to throw this out there…I’m a “yes” person.  I’ve gotten much better throughout the years and am now able to evaluate my priorities before I commit.  But for some reason, during the holidays it gets much harder.  The season of giving seems to mean both material items and time… lots and lots of time.  It’s something about the holiday spirit that makes me think  saying no is not an option and I will magically get more than 24 hours a day.

Well, friends I’m here to tell you- “no” is still an option and honestly one you will need to use this holiday season.  Let’s face it… we don’t have any more time during these months than we do all year long- in fact it can feel like even less. The key is to figure out how we want to spend and make the most out of our time.  Here are 5 tricks to saying “no” and finding alternatives to keep your sanity this holiday season.

Suggest another time of year. 

This might seem crazy but part of my family does Thanksgiving over the summer.  It’s not a traditional feast but it’s a full day we dedicate for this specific group to get together.

Before we established this tradition, everyone was driving to a million houses to fit it all in and was exhausted before the party even got started.

Don’t say yes, if you’ll be saying no later.

If you’re busy today and envision the same for next week don’t commit to something and later cancel.  Be honest and say you can’t get together right now and you’ll be in touch when you can.

No one wants to be cancelled on last minute when time is running thin.


This doesn’t mean throw what you don’t want to do on someone else’s plate.  This could be something as simple as not making your homemade apple pie this year and picking one up at the store.  Or asking a friend to grab something and give them the cash at the party.  Saying no and delegating a few little things saves you a ton of time and makes a huge impact.

Check out my post on how to outsource effectively.




Just say no.

If you don’t want to do something or be somewhere then don’t.  You don’t need a long winded excuse to not attend your 5th holiday happy hour or enter another gift exchange.  Stick with your gut and politely decline and thank them for the invite.

If you feel the need to say “yes” try this mantra:

[ctt template=”1″ link=”6Wbs3″ via=”no” ]Always start with a “no” and try to convince yourself “yes.” [/ctt]


This always helps me to put things into perspective and determine my “why.”  Before you even have the chance to say “yes,” you need to determine why you even want to do it in the first place.

Stop the “but I have to” talk.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to.

Believe me it feels like we do so much of the time but we really don’t!  You are an adult and can make decisions that are best for you and your family.  Yes, each decision does come with a consequence so make choose the “battles” you wish to fight and let the others go.

What other tricks and tips do you have to save your time and sanity during the holidays?





Alissa Carpenter
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