November 4, 2023 by Molly Patrick

Flip those holiday shenanigans

Is The Classic Christmas Album by Kenny G on repeat at your house, too??? It’s not December if the sax isn’t being expertly maneuvered into pure holiday delight. Go, Kenny, go!

Kenny G on the Saxophone

Along with saxophone glee, the last few months of the year also bring an uptick in gatherings and events. With each invitation, you have a choice to make. The Clash summed it up nicely:

“Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay, it will be double.”

I’m pretty sure Kenny G does NOT have a smooth jazz version of this song. Alas.

With each invitation, you have a decision to make. Will you accept or decline?

On the one hand, the office party isn’t “mandatory,” on the other hand your absence will be noticed.

The in-laws’ annual holiday potluck is definitely mandatory, at least in the eyes of your mother-in-law.

The Christmas bash you and your friends have been throwing since 2001 when No Doubt and the Goo Goo Dolls graced this new thing called the iPod.

Your partner’s company party where karaoke is blazing, small talk with strangers is rampant, and cheeseballs are every damn where.

The choice is yours: Will you stay or will you go now? 
Whether you accept an invitation or not is less important than knowing you always have a choice.

It might be an uncomfortable or awkward choice, but you have agency over your life. To think anything else is to give your power away.  

It all comes down to the difference between “I have to” and “I choose to.”

When you say, “I have to go,” it simply isn’t true. You don’t have to go. But there might be plenty of reasons why you choose to go, let’s look at some.

  1. You want to make an appearance at the office party to show you’re a committed employee.
  2. You’d prefer to avoid the tension that declining an invite from your mother-in-law would create.
  3. You want to connect and have fun with your friends.
  4. You want to support your partner by accompanying them, karaoke and all.

There also might be plenty of reasons you don’t want to go and choose to decline an invitation. Here are some of those.

  1. You are burnt out and can’t handle one more work thing, party or not.
  2. You’re in the process of setting boundaries, and saying no to the in-laws is the perfect opportunity for growth.
  3. You have other things going on you’re choosing to prioritize.
  4. You have no desire for karaoke or small talk, and would rather make this plant based cheeseball instead.

Saying yes might suck in some ways.
Saying no might suck in other ways.
But as long as you like your reasons for showing up (or not), then you have made an empowered choice that will serve you best, and ultimately serve the people you love as well.

You might be thinking, sounds awesome in theory, but how do I tell someone no when they want me to say yes?? I get it. I want to make alllll the people happy alllll the time. I haven’t found an easy way to say no when someone is expecting or wanting a yes. It’s uncomfortable and it isn’t easy. I try to do it with as much kindness and love as I can, without spending too much time justifying my choices.

Whatever invitations you get this holiday season, know you always have a choice, and sometimes saying no to someone else is saying yes to yourself.


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Written by ex-boozer and ex-smoker, Molly Patrick that will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.


Not for those offended by the F word.