Chances are very good that if you're reading this, the holiday madness is officially upon us. Chances are even better that you've already accepted an invitation to a party you don't want to go to, cooked or baked for a cause you don't support, or somehow gotten roped into doing something that makes someone else's life better while complicating your own.
Here's a radical thought, instead of finding ways to make the holidays better for everyone else, try to start by making it better for yourself first. I'm not suggesting that you go all Grinch suddenly, but if you tend to get frazzled around the holidays (and who doesn't) try to wait a beat before saying yes to the next request that comes your way.
For instance, if you're always the one at the office who takes on extra work without notice, consider the NO you approach:
Boss: Can you take an extra shift at work?
Old you: Of course!
NO you: I'd love to help out, but I already have firm travel plans that I can't cancel, I'd be happy to put in extra time in the new year.
Boss: Grr. Grr. You must.
NO you: Is there any overtime pay involved or transportation and meal credit?
Or perhaps it's family that wants more, more, more:
Sister: Can you roast the turkey and make the stuffing and buy the wine and set the table and make 97 individual miniature pies? Great! I'll be at the spa.
Old you: Of course. Holiday is about family! You're such a doll to be hosting this year.
NO you: I'd be happy to bake a pie. Let's figure out how to best split the work between all of us so that we all get to enjoy the holiday.
And there you have it. No is the new yes!