A Little Happier: During the Holidays, Say “Yes” If We Can.

A Little Happier: During busy holiday time, it’s tempting to say “no” to try to make life easier, but in the end, we’re usually happier if we say “yes”—to the office party, the school show, or the holiday gathering.

So the hack is: say “yes”if you can. Don’t do anything contrary to your nature or your values, but if you can, say “yes.” In the end, showing up strengthens relationships and boosts happiness.

Here’s the video that I mention: The days are long, but the years are short. Of everything I’ve ever written or created, I think this one-minute video is the thing that has resonated most with people.

Have you learned any great hacks for figuring out how to make the holidays happier?

Check out LOFT.com — it’s a great go-to spot to pull together modern,  feminine outfits for all your holiday adventures.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


Happier listening!

  • Mimi Gregor

    I pick and choose the type of party I go to. An acquaintance always invites us to her New Year’s Eve party, and we went a couple times. But her crowd is not my sort of crowd, and I don’t really feel comfortable, so we don’t go to it anymore. On the other hand, my husband’s place of employment has an employee party every year — significant others invited also — that I enjoy tremendously and look forward to.

    We don’t do Christmas anymore — no gifts, no decorations, no cards. Neither one of us enjoyed all the hassle involved. It was much too stressful. Our tradition now is to go to a movie (we normally always wait for something to go to Netflix, so this is a treat) and then out to an Indian restaurant. Very low-key, but we tolerate the holidays much more now.

    I agree with you about how making decisions can be a source of stress, and I came up with a way to handle unimportant though time-consuming decisions about where to go for dinner (my husband and I have a date night once a week) or where to go for an outing on my day off (Tuesday is my “sabbath”. I don’t cook or do any extensive cleaning. I don’t exercise unless I want to. I go somewhere that is fun for me, by myself.) I have small urns — one for restaurants that we like and one for destinations that I enjoy or want to check out– in which I keep scraps of paper with various destinations written on them. Instead of trying to decide where to go (I really hate making decisions!), I reach in and pick one. It’s amazing how often when we do this, we run into people at dinner that we really enjoy talking with, or I will find something that delights me in some way on my outing. I rely almost totally on serendipity and synchronicity.

    • Cindy May

      I love your idea of urns with scraps of paper so you don’t have to stress about choosing. I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to be bothered with all the decorating. So far I’ve bought a wreath (and the supplies to make 2 more) and wrapped some yarn around a twig. That might have to suffice for decorations this year!

      Also, in the spirit of this blog, I resolve to try and be happy this holiday season and not worry about what I didn’t get done, and just do what I enjoy and enjoy what I do (minimizing the chores that need to get done).

      • Mimi Gregor

        LOL… wrapped some yarn around a twig! I can just see it now… someone eyeballing your yarn/twig with a WTF look on their face… and you shrugging and saying, “Meh… I ran out of steam….” Heehee!

        • Cindy May

          I copied the idea from the whole ‘Yarn Bombing’ trend. The branch is off of our Magnolia tree and the yarn was free from a friend. I call it my ‘Festivus’ branch. There’s a photo of it here: http://cindysmanyhobbies.blogspot.com/

          • johanna

            Christmas has different a meaning for everyone. I try to honor Christ’s birth, Christmas, by trying to draw closer to God during this Advent season. I LOVE my friends and my family but celebrating through parties and get togethers often does not help me prepare for Christmas. Advent is a time for waiting and preparing ones heart for the birth of Christ, coming once again to all. Being quiet, reading and studying about the first Christmas and doing more for others is a more serious attend for the meaning of Christmas.

          • Cindy May

            I agree that Christmas is all about honoring Christ’s birth, which is why I do charity work during the holidays, which is why I often don’t have time to hang more than a few decorations. I’m not complaining, but I often wish I had a little more time for myself during the holidays.

  • We usually look back and fondly remember those things that were hard to fit into the schedule but provided an emotional payoff. It is a gift of memory that we tend to remember the good things more than the minor hassles. Especially things related to our children, as we can’t repeat these at will in the future. I wish we all had a Time Turner (a la Hermione Granger) during this season!

  • Penny

    I’m usually a Grinch around the holidays. This year I decided to do a Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge where I post tips on how to survive the holidays. So, yes! I have a few hacks to make the holidays happier that I’d love to share at http://www.wellpower.com. 🙂