No is a complete sentence.
You can say NO to things without having to add explanation. Add a thanks if you wish, but only if you want to,
- Want to join in Secret Santa at work? No.
- Do you want to go for after work drinks on Black Eye Friday? No.
- Want to come visit Aunty Petunia on Christmas Eve even though she spends her time telling you you’ve put on weight/aged badly/need to change your hair? No.
- Want to put in €10 for teacher’s present because someone else decides it’s a good idea. No.
- Want to donate to Arthur’s sponsored swim? No.
- Want to go to Smuffs in the busiest part of town at 4pm on Friday to do me a favour? No.
- Want to invite Cousin JohnJoe over to burp at Christmas dinner? No.
- Want to come watch little Japonica playing the unicorn in her 3 hour long school play? Nope.
Now, let me clarify. I am NOT telling you, nor am I encouraging you, to be a selfish turbotwat. Some things have to be tolerated. Aunty Nancy’s silent but violent farts are not a just reason to leave her alone on Christmas. And you can’t refuse to go for dinner in your own house just because you fell out with your partner’s sister-in-law’s dog three years ago. Some things need you to chuck it in the fuckit bucket and suck it up for the people you DO care about.
Christmas is wonderful, but it’s also a time of high stress and worry, where people and traditions and expectations are forced upon us. And while of course, we must all buckle down and stretch ourselves to accomodate the people we care about, love or are responsible for, we are NOT OBLIGED to keep EVERYONE HAPPY.
If something is going to cause you stress, worry, financial strain or conflict, don’t do it.
If something is going to make your life difficult and really, you are not harming anyone by refusing, don’t do it.
If something is going to have a negative impact on YOUR mental wellbeing, think long and hard about it.
If you can’t afford it, don’t go/do/buy it.
If you can’t deal with it, don’t put yourself through it.
If you can’t stand it, don’t do it.
And while we’re at it, do remember that you don’t HAVE to do things a certain way.
Want to eat curry or lasagne for Christmas dinner? Knock yourself out.
Don’t want to put up a tree? Don’t.
Don’t want to/can’t afford to buy presents for Tom, Dick and Harry this year? Don’t.
Can’t be bothered putting on good clothes and a full face to sit in your sitting room all day? Stay in your Pjs.
Hate “It’s a Wonderful Life”? Don’t watch it.
There is no Christmas Fairy-Poppins who goes around looking in your windows to check that you’re getting your Hallmark on.
You do You.
And you DO have the right, and the ability, to say NO.
And as I said, NO, is a complete sentence. It doesn’t require an explanation.
Someone asks why? Simply answer with one of the following:
It doesn’t suit.
I don’t want to.
I said no.
And whoever it is that you’re worried that you’re going to upset, will get over it. Chances are, they really won’t even notice.
And Christmas will pass and 2020 will start and we’ll all get on with our lives and whether or not you turned up to sing carols with Carol will be forgotten as quickly as the Strawberry Quality Street.