No-vember: This new term is all over social media, and moms everywhere are embracing it in real life, with good reason. It describes the act of saying no to protect your physical, emotional and spiritual energy this month—a reserve all parents will need once the holidays hit.
Saying no to things that don’t serve you, or your family, can be the most powerful thing in the world, because it frees you to say yes to things that do. From 7 meetings with Santa for the kids, to helming every event at school, not everything has to get the go-ahead. Here are 20 things to consider turning down—but you’ll know your own No-vember boundaries best.
Trying to Be Joanna Gaines Meets Mrs. Claus
Lights outside, décor inside…it can be magical but also exhausting. This is a classic case of being a “good enough” mom. Need to get an artificial tree so you don’t lose your mind with watering? Great. Want to hang a wreath or two but aren’t up for getting on the roof, Chevy Chase style, to hang 100,000 twinkling lights? Rest assured that Rudolph will light the night.
Making the Whole Meal from Scratch
This is your holiday season, too. If you don’t want to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner, ask well in advance for a few guests to bring a dish – they’ll be happy to help. Not up for cooking at all? Order in and support a local small business. The point of the holiday is being together – and that means you enjoying the day, too.
Arranging Multiple Meetings with Santa
When Gen X and Millennial parents were growing up, Santa arrived from the North Pole on Christmas Eve – no exceptions. If you’re burnt out from 9 Halloween trunk or treats or pumpkin decorating parties, you don’t have to catch Santa every single time he appears within a 50 mile vicinity of your home.
Filling Up Your Dance Card
For introverts especially, the constant holiday parties between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January can feel like a serious energy drain. People understand that it’s a busy time. If you do go? An early exit is perfectly acceptable.
Constantly Helping Out At Your Child’s School
The parents association (aka the PTA or PA) is going to ask you to help—over, and over, and over. That’s because they need help…and some parents never raise their hand. But that doesn’t mean you have to pick up the slack and host cookie decorating, gingerbread house making, organizing group teacher gifts and the class craft.
Traveling Far for the Holidays
If there is a good reason to travel to someone’s home over the holiday season – your family loves the trip, the people you’re visiting are unable to travel due to age or illness, etc. — by all means, book the tickets, pack your bags and brave the crowds at the airport. But obligation doesn’t mean an automatic annual yes.
Choosing the Perfect Present
From teachers to your garbage man, you might feel the pressure to buy the perfect gift for each amazing person who has helped you this year. If you love doing it, by all means, get the personalized, thoughtful gift. But if you’re tight on time, cash (or a gift card) is king.
Baking Up a Storm
Making holiday cookies by hand is a lovely tradition – and a huge mess. If you like baking (and your kids do), it’s a home run. If you hate baking, and don’t have the time or energy for it, pick up some slice and bake treats from the refrigerated section – they’re just as good and even come in holiday patterns.
Hosting The Elf
Maybe the Elf visits you. Maybe you have other traditions. Trust us when we say your child’s holiday season will be magical in any way you make it so. If you love hosting the little guy, amazing. But if it’s stressful for you, it’s not worth it for anyone—and that goes for everything on this list.