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holiday boundaries


As friends and family join in tying fresh pine trees on cars, hanging sparkling ornaments, and planning parties, the holiday season signifies for many a time of connection. We hope the gifts beneath the tree convey how deeply we cherish those in our lives. The Christmas season is a reminder to embrace the spirit of generosity, whether that is with our time, with our finances, or with our love. However, in evaluating all that we have to offer this holiday season, it is easy to question whether we have the mental, emotional, or financial resources to fulfill those expectations.

While the holiday season brings about beautiful themes of selflessness and generosity, it can be a challenge to know your limits and maintain the boundaries related to what is necessary and uniquely appropriate for you during this time. So what does it look like to begin to draw those lines? Here are some ideas for reflection:

1. Consider being more intentional about which gatherings you attend. While you may feel a natural desire to RSVP “yes” to every event and invitation, scaling back on commitments may offer you the space you need to care for yourself.

2. Define financial boundaries that feel right to you. How much money do you feel comfortable spending this holiday season? Perhaps that means deciding to not exchange gifts as a family this year or shifting the expectations you have of what those gifts should look like.

3. Allow yourself the freedom to step away from spaces that do not serve you. Perhaps that means not participating in activities that make you uncomfortable or choosing to disengage from certain conversations.

In the season of giving, consider what it is you might be able to offer yourself. If boundaries are a challenge for you, you may need some additional support in this area. The Refuge Center is an available resource for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 615-591-5262.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, India Lacerda

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The Refuge Center for Counseling is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (20-3831943). We are also a United Way of Williamson County Partner Organization.