Why it is important to say “No” – especially around Christmas time
Oh My! Where did the time go? There I was, just sitting on the beach of beautiful Barcelona and here I am now, half way through December and one week away from Christmas eve. This month is always just crazy in our house. There are my husband’s birthday, Christmas and advent tea parties, apartment decoration, gift shopping and menu planning joggled by our little family. Time flies and a week before Christmas there is always still a long list of to dos waiting for me.
Spottet this Christmas tree saying “decorate me” on the street last week. What a cute idea.
So Christmas time must be the worst time for slowing down and making self care the number one priority, right?
With all the craziness going on it is the best time to take care of yourself and of your needs.
Us women especially are experts in pleasing everybody else instead of listening to what our heart wants.
We think we can be the funniest and most entertaining Mum, while having the neatest household and brightest career, plus welcoming our hard working and late returning husband in the perfect outfit, serving him a self cooked, heavenly 3 course menu and giving him the best (you know which) job he ever had for dessert. Ah, not to forget in between all that we listen to our mother, best friend and mother-in-law on the phone to comfort them with their problems. Because we are such good girls, right?
We want to have it all, do it all, get it all done. And with perfection, s’il vous plait!
But let me tell you this:
THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN. BECAUSE YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING AND NOT A SUPERWOMAN WITH MAGICAL POWERS. (although you are close!)
Damn it! We got to stop being so hard on ourselves and to beat ourselves up when the apartment isn’t sparkling like in a magazine or if we didn’t bake our son the five layer cake for his birthday. Nobody expects these things from us, nobody expects us to be perfect. Only we do. So we have to learn to be gentle with ourselves just as we would be with a crying overwhelmed friend who seeks our love and comfort.
A very powerful way to be more gentle to yourself and learn to listen to your heart is to say “No”.
Especially on Christmas time we don’t have to please everybody, we don’t have to accept every invitation, we don’t have to bake cookies or send out self-designed holiday cards. We don’t even have to invite the family if we don’t feel it. We just don’t have to. PERIOD.
And if the little chatting voice in your head tells you otherwise tell her to shut up already.
One of my favorite word goddesses of all time, Alexandra Franzen, just wrote the most wonderful piece of internet wisdom about this topic here. The way she puts it, it is all about fear choice vs. love choice. You can ask yourself, when things get overwhelming: Do I do this out of fear I could miss something out, disappoint somebody, be a bad wife / mother / daughter? And then ask yourself how your decision would look like if these fears didn’t exist and you would only act out of love, love for yourself. Simple as that.
For example my Nos for December looked like this:
- I didn’t go to a birthday party
- I didn’t bake Christmas cookies
- I limited my Christmas decoration to one pretty vase with branches and paper ornaments.
- I let my husband order the food for his birthday party at a restaurant rather than stressing myself out to cook for 20 people
- I will go out with the whole family for one big breakfast on Christmas day rather than inviting everybody over which means saving me days of planning, shopping and cooking for an impressive Christmas dinner.
This all felt scary but also right and nobody loves me less.
Have fun practicing the “No” and a very merry Christmas to you all.
P.S.: What are your life savers for crazy Christmas time? Share in the comments below.