DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2013
The holidays are approaching, so get ready for increased stress. Friends and relatives will begin calling to say “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” so decide how you want to spend your time this season. This will prevent you from getting caught off guard and roped into entertaining guests you didn’t plan to have.
Do You WANT to Entertain?
If you have hosted holiday after holiday when you never had the intention of doing so, it’s time to put a stop to this. It can be tough to turn down those who just invite themselves to your home or who show up unannounced, but it is much easier once you decide how you intend to spend your time and resources. Make your decision first.
Just Say “No”
The holidays are a wonderful time of year and ordinarily you might love to have a home full of guests to share them with. Or you might only host one day out of the season but enjoy entertaining family, friends, and/or business/work associates on this occasion. While the conversation and camaraderie is uplifting for all, it is absolutely fine to forego the ritual and responsibility if this year is not a good time for you. You may have other commitments sapping your energy and attention. Or you just may want time to nest, rest and rejuvenate. You don’t need an “excuse”. Simply announce that you are not having house guests this year nor hosting any festivities. This doesn’t mean that you have to feel guilty and hide out if someone else steps up. Offer to help, bring goodies, and join in the fun. That’s quite a different matter from serving as “Holiday Central” yourself.
Entertain Within Your Means
Once you mull over your interests, needs, and circumstances and conclude that you want to entertain for the holidays, by all means embrace your decision and enjoy the experience fully. But don’t do more than you can afford. Just because you agree to entertain doesn’t mean you have to do all the work or foot the bill for everything yourself — especially if you’re still feeling the negative effects of the down economy. Ask others to come early to help with the cooking or to make or buy a dish to bring. Or scale down and only host cocktails and dessert. Expect house guests to go out for some of their meals to give you a break, to clean up after themselves, and to help prepare for the big gatherings. If you can afford to give your guests the royal treatment and cover everything yourself, that’s great. It’s a wonderful way to give back and to share your good fortune and success. But only do this if you truly have the means. Don’t play the “big shot” who is still paying for this — financially and emotionally — months later.
The holidays are a great time for entertaining and enjoying the company of others. But there’s no law obligating you to take on this responsibility simply because people expect it or put you on the spot. You make this decision, so be sure the decision is truly yours!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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