Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice. Whatever you celebrate is bound to be full of hot chocolate, great gifts, and lots of stress. Does it have to be that way? I don’t think so. Here are a few quick tips to help you ask for what you want and get what you need this Holiday season, taken right out of my book I Wanted Fries with That.

  • I Want a Particular Gift
    If you want Santa to bring you something special you have two choices. Tell someone exactly what you want, or buy it for yourself. You may think you’re being crystal clear hinting about the axolotl you have your eye on, but your loved ones might think you want to go axe throwing or buy a turtle. The best way to avoid disappointment is to pick one up yourself. If that isn’t your vibe, then try asking something like “Hon, I’m looking for a new aquatic salamander this holiday season. Any interest in getting me one as a gift?”
  • I Want You to Be on Time
    Here’s the thing: We can’t get anyone else to be on time. Even if we remind them that dinner starts at 5pm, even if we serve their favourite corn soufflé, if someone wants to show up late, they will. But. The good news is that you control your event and you can start when you want to, even if cousin Betty is delayed yet again. Send out a cheerful e-mail saying “Hey Everyone! Looking forward to seeing you on Friday! Dinner starts at 5pm – you’re welcome to come late, but I can’t promise we’ll save you any baked brie!” That way, you’ve been clear about your expectations and you can sit down to dinner with a clear conscience.
  • I Want to Be Alone
    All the togetherness is wonderful but it can get on your nerves too. If you are the kind of person that needs to recharge your batteries during the break, schedule some quiet time for yourself and hold on to it tightly. Then, stay quiet. You are under no obligation to defend yourself or offer complex explanations like “My reiki healer has instructed me to breathe deeply at 10am so I can’t attend your latke party.” If anyone asks for plans during your “me time” respond with a vague “I can’t on Tuesday afternoon, I have a commitment. How’s Thursday for you?” You are unlikely to get any questions, but if anyone presses, you can say “It’s a long story” or “I’ll tell you later.”

Final Words

So much of the holiday season is about giving back and prioritizing things other than your own needs. Please remember to look after yourself. Take a few moments to jot down your priorities so that you can refer back to them if you feel pulled in a million directions.

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