5 Things You Can Do Instead of Attending All Holiday Parties

Ok, for the record, I’m not completely skipping everything.

I have set a rule of going to a maximum of five holiday parties including my own birthday party as it falls on this joyous season. I think a lot of people can attest that once the ber months kick in, panic and anxiety ensue. You start to list down all the things you need to do—what to give, where to go, and how much are you willing to shell out for all your inaanaks.

What’s supposed to be a fun season turns out to be this exhausting and stress-filled month. I’ve had enough. So this year, I have mapped out five things that we all can do to make the last month of the year matter more.

1. Year-End Cleaning and Purging

Why wait for the new year to kick when you can already do all your cleaning and purging this time?

Our closets and cabinets are filled with stuff which we haven’t touched or worn in the past months. I’ve read a rule somewhere that if you haven’t worn it in three months, it’s time to toss it out. This is a good rule to keep in mind because sometimes we have a bad habit of accumulating things faster than disposing of them. I remember the same time last year, I cleaned my books and clothes and sold them off to random people online. I discovered that it’s also a good exercise emotionally speaking because you’re allowing yourself to let go of the old to make way for new (and better) things.

2. Catch Up on Some Netflix

I love and hate Netflix because they give us so much good content but you just can’t seem to find enough time to watch all of them. The difficult part of adulthood is you have to choose between catching up on your favorite shows or sleep. Let’s face it, the latter takes a back seat because we couldn’t bear not talking about it with our friends or colleagues the following day cause, you know, #FOMO.

So instead of sitting through painful holiday dinners filled with unnecessary small talk (Yes, Brenda, I’ve already seen the photo of your child. It’s all over your social media.), set a Netflix date with yourself and finally binge on those shows you’ve been wanting to watch.

3. Reflect and Do Some Major Me-Time

In a digitally hyperconnected world, rarely do we get to introspect and reflect. We’re consistently bombarded with content and information that checking our phones have become an impulse next to breathing. Don’t get me wrong, I love this age of information but just like anything else, we need to disconnect and ground ourselves. While everyone is out partying, why don’t we sit down and reflect the year that is almost over?

What are the best things that have happened and what are the things that you think you could improve on? Doing some check and balance is a great way to assess how you have spent your time and energy. It’s important to audit ourselves and assess if the things we’ve done the past year have helped us reach the goals that we have set or if we are closer to the kind of person we envision ourselves to be.

4. Set Your 2021 Goals

This brings me to my next point which is to set our goals. We don’t have to wait for January to make this list. Also, can we cut the “New Year, New Me” crap? Why don’t we call it, “New Year, Better Me”? Having worked in the corporate setup for some time already, I’ve learned that it’s not about how many goals you’ve ticked off of your list but how much have these goals contributed to the growth of the company or organization. It’s similar to the way we set our personal goals.

In setting your annual personal goals, list down three to four key areas where you want to focus on. It can be fitness, finance, self-improvement, career, or family. Before you start scribbling your goals for each, let me burst your bubble by saying: you can’t do everything. I mean, we can do anything, sure, but we can’t do everything. Please remember that there is a huge difference. Save yourself from all the disappointments and manage your goals and expectations accordingly.

One of my personal goals next year is to learn French which I’m saving up for. I’ve always been interested but never really paid attention until now. It’s important to make these goals exciting so they’re also something to look forward to!

5. Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends

I’m not a complete grinch, you guys. But let’s go back to the real reason why the holidays exist; to spend quality time with family and friends. When I say quality time, I mean dropping our gadgets and actually conversing with each other–– asking how they are, what do they look forward to next year, and what should we be doing more of. With our busy schedules, we often forget to check up on the most important people in our lives especially our parents. Truth to be told, they are not hard to please. They just want us to show up, spend time, laugh, and update them with our lives so they don’t worry too much about us.

This is also a great time to finally arrange that dinner with your barkada that you’ve been cancelling on because, you know, of life. Watching their IG stories, commenting on their memes, and on-fleek selfies are not exactly what you can call sustaining a friendship. Book a table at your favorite restaurant, catch up on the bad dates that you’ve been to, laugh about all the boo-boos that you all have done this year, and, most importantly, share your exciting goals with them.

You don’t have to show up in all the gatherings this season but you do need to show up for people who actually matter. Make yourself look forward to the next years ahead! I hope you have a meaningful (and less stressful) holiday!