Last year around Christmas I had a stressful time making decisions. It seemed like each day when I went outside to collect my mail I received more party invitations requesting the presence of my family at holiday events. At first I found it flattering that my family and I were being thought about by our friends and family and that they all desired our company during the holiday season. It wasn’t long, however, before the flattery turned into frustration as the party invitations kept arriving and as our calendar began to fill up with event after event.
It got to the point where our family had to sit down with the party invitations and do something very important: choose. There was no way that we could accept all of the party invitations and remain sane through the month of December. We had to begin declining party invitations and narrowing our schedule down to include only the events we really wished to attend. It might sound simple, but when you sit down to choose between attending your grandmother’s yearly holiday brunch or your best friend’s annual reunion party for all of your college friends, choosing is not so easy.
Our family quickly came up with a way to sift through the small mountain of invitations and choose the ones we wished to attend. The first and most important way that we narrowed our list was by thinking about the relationships we had with the people throwing each party. We made the decision to separate the party invitations we had received into piles based on our closeness to the hosts of the parties. This made it easy to see where we could decline a few party invitations simply by choosing close family and friends over people we didn’t know so well. A party hosted by a parent or sibling took precedence over party invitations we received from a co-worker or former neighbor.
We also decided to narrow down party invitations by only allowing ourselves to schedule a certain number of events each week. We limited our family to accepting party invitations to one party during each week and one party each weekend during the entire month. This way we were not so busy with parties that we were unable to continue doing other important things.
If you find yourself receiving too many invitaions this holiday season, or at any point throughout the year, look for ways to narrow it down and only accept invitations toevents being held by people you love the most.