Many people have been asking me how they can keep their sanity and enjoy the holidays. It can be a CRAZY time of year, when many of us feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Which can lead to feeling sick or resentful. Which can lead to a crappy Christmas. And I don’t think any of us want that!

So I’m going to start with the  absolute most important tip: saying “no“.

There are so many fun, enjoyable things to do over the holidays, but you will completely lose your mind if you say yes to them all! You’ll need to pick and choose what’s most important to you.  And for the rest?  Just say “no”!

I’ve gathered together 25 different ways to say no – keep these in your back pocket, and when someone asks you to do something, and it’s not a “hell yes!”, pull one of these out:

  1. “No thank you.”
  2. “Maybe another time.”
  3. “Rain cheque?”
  4. “I’d love to help but unfortunately I’m already overextended.”
  5. “I’m sorry, but I already have another commitment.”
  6. “Not this time”
  7. “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I’m afraid I can`t make it work.”
  8. “No thank you, but it sounds lovely!”
  9. “The kids are going to need some down-time between everything else going on.”
  10. “I wish I had a clone!”
  11. “That sounds like so much fun – I wish I could be there!”
  12. “Unfortunately I’ve already promised to bake cookies for three other events. I think I’m going to need a break – and so will my oven!”
  13. “I wish I could, but I just can’t take anything more on.”
  14. “My calendar is already bursting at the seams! I would love to be there, but I can’t.”
  15. “Unfortunately not.”
  16. “I’m not sure I’m the best person to do that. Have you talked to ___?”
  17. “I’m not able to set aside the time needed to do a great job on that.”
  18. “I’m honoured to be asked, but I’m afraid I can’t”.
  19. “It’s not going to work right now, but can we talk again in a month?”
  20. “You want me to do what?”
  21. “I wish there was more than one of me – then I would totally be there!”
  22. “I’m trying to set a good example for my kids about the importance of self-care. I’m afraid I’ll need to say no.”
  23. “I’ll check my calendar, but I have a feeling there’s something else on that day.”
  24. “Darn, I wish I could!”
  25. “No.”


Saving Your Sanity Over the Holidays: 25 Ways to Say No