The holidays can be beautiful and bright, cozy and just right.
But they can also bring up a lot of stress and confusion.
The intensity and emotion can pull us off track.
In order to give a full “yes” to the season, it’s helpful to have an idea of what we’re also saying “no” to.
The moment we acknowledge our limits—even to ourselves—a new superpower is born.
We’ve asked the DevaTree team to share their holiday “no-way’s.” So instead of a gift guide or how-to list, here’s our beloved “I refuse to” list.
Do you have an “I refuse to…” this season? We’d love to hear about it, in the comments below.
We stand with you as you make space for what feeds your sweet soul!
You are so loved,
The DevaTree Team
Gabby - Director, 200hr Jamaica
My holiday season involves traveling out of town for various family gatherings, which can be quite tiring. This year, I refuse to overextend and deplete myself by traveling out of obligation. I intend to spend time with people that fill me with joy, and also to give my body rest when I need it. Merry Christmas to me is what I'm saying!
Misty - 200-hr Team
The holiday season brings my family together, including people I don’t see often. This year I refuse to become anxious when connecting with family. I choose to greet everyone with an open and loving heart, and remember we’re all doing the best we can. I’ll embrace the time with my family and surround each and every person with the light of my soul and love in my heart.
Tamika - Co-Founder
As a single woman without kids, I refuse to let the pressure of the picture-perfect family (which doesn’t exist anyway) make me feel less magical this holiday season. Christmas can bring up my nostalgia for the past, especially when I think of my mother being gone. She was the glue and heart of our big traditional family—her legacy runs deep. She taught me that a heart is big enough to hold all kinds of families—traditional, unconventional, foster, extended, fur-babies etc—it’s the love that matters. This season, I intend to cherish the gifts of love in front of me, honouring the old and making room for the new.
Carolyn - Co-Founder
This year I refuse to get caught up in a buying frenzy. The fast pace of holiday shopping makes me feel agitated and over-stimulated. I’ve picked up a few special presents so far but I’ve also started to make some homemade gifts for my family and friends. My kids made bath bombs for everyone last year and I can’t wait to see the results of the recent DIY projects that are underway. This season, I intend to make thoughtful purchases, and keep my nervous system calm.
Brenda Dowell - Senior Faculty
This year, I refuse to get caught up in guilt for having a non-traditional holiday season. I will not be home for Christmas and I intend to fully enjoy time with friends, regardless of other’s expectations or judgement. I am a wild adventurous spirit, and this year I will fully celebrate this embodiment.
Lotus - Director, Yoga for Longevity
I refuse to make cards this year. I’ve always loved making cards for the holiday season, but other years I've had more time. Ironically, even when I had more time, I’d often only get to the concept and design stage. They never got sent, which made me sad. To feel better, I'd tell myself that I’ll make New Year cards, cards for the Chinese new year, etc—which didn’t happen either! This year I refuse to get anxious and pressured about making cards. I’m going to send out store bought cards. Better late than never!
Catherine - 200-hr Team
This season, I refuse to get caught up in the media hype about all the things that are wrong in this world. Darkness does exist, but so does the light. There's so much beauty in this world. I choose to turn my attention to the way snow glistens on moonlit nights, and to the dance of colours in the flames of the fireplace. I’ll savour the cozy warmth of being wrapped in my favourite blanket, and toast the vastness of the universe with millions of stars on a crisp, clear night. The world will still have its shadows, but my focus will be on the light.
Bija - Director, Down Dogs & Doshas
This holiday season, I refuse to allow old patterns and family dynamics to leave me feeling depleted and frustrated with myself for not using my voice. I will stand in my wild woman power with respect and honouring, while creating new meaningful moments with my chosen tribe. I will consume and serve healthy, clean foods with grace and love, and enter the new year feeling fulfilled, strong, and vibrating with vitality! This will be a time of releasing "shoulds" and bringing on the deliciousness of shedding what does not serve my highest good.