Yes, Virginia, you can skip Christmas parties.


Actual photo of me at the end of this week.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with someone who told me how many Christmas parties he’s attending and how tired he is. I wanted to tell him, “You know, you can skip parties if you’d like to.” But I didn’t tell him that, so I’m telling you.

You don’t have to attend parties if you don’t want to!

This week has been particularly challenging for me, from the Introvert’s perspective. On Tuesday night I took hubs to dinner for his birthday, I had a board meeting Wednesday night, and another board meeting last night: all good stuff, but a lot of activity and long days. Today I have my office holiday lunch, complete with a Dirty Santa gift exchange. Again, fun stuff but no alone time. I’m going to need to recharge soon.

A few years ago a coaching client told me how she used to love the Christmas season but in recent years it had become stressful. Through being coached she discovered that over time she had piled on extra activities and a lot of stuff, thinking these extras were important to her family. She was exhausted. I invited her to check out her assumptions and she learned that the family had no expectations. The client then separated her “want to’s” from her “shoulds.” She stopped doing the things she’d previously told herself she should do and continued with the traditions that brought her joy. Fast forward a few years and she is still enjoying the Christmas season.

I have a party on my calendar tomorrow. Two close friends are hosting it and I’ve already spoken with one of them about my need to take a pass. She understood completely and assured me she does not take it personally. Hubs has plans midday tomorrow, so I am going to have the house to myself for a few precious hours.

By skipping tomorrow’s party, I am giving myself permission to let go of a “should.” By spending time alone, I’ll be recharging my mental and emotional batteries and on Sunday I’ll likely be ready to start the week with a fresh perspective.

Are your holiday activities closing in on you? I invite you to give yourself permission to say “no” to a few things.


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2 Responses to Yes, Virginia, you can skip Christmas parties.

  1. Joann jolly says:

    ❤️. “Should” versus “want to” is probably the most important lesson of all, especially at this hectic time of year. So, thank you so much for that. Every. Year.

    While you were recharging, I managed to wrap up three Christmas parties within 24 hours … all my choice and all as a “want to”! Made it so much more enjoyable knowing attending was a purposeful decision. (Pics to Facebook tomorrow.. post recharge)

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