top of page
  • Writer's pictureBonnie Kelly

Practical Boundaries: the Best Balance between Holiday Festivity and Self-Preservation

Ah, 'boundaries' - the silent hero of holiday cheer!

It's the word that dances dexterously between the tinsel and the gingerbread, simultaneously striking fear into our hearts and promising to rescue us from awkward family commotion.

Sure, it's not the first word that springs to mind when you're decorating the house with festive lights but think of boundaries as the holiday joy for managing difficult relationships and maintaining personal wellbeing.

Boundaries create an invisible holiday cloak, helping you decide who, how, and what will make your holiday season a little less stress and a lot more cheer.

With boundaries, you can jingle all the way through family gatherings, finding that perfect balance between festivity and self-preservation.


Cheers to a season of merriment and masterfully maintained personal space!

We may not be hanging 'boundaries' on the tree, but let's face it, they're the real ornaments of sanity.

So how do we set festive boundaries?


1.    Be Selectively Social.

Be picky about those festive invitations! You're not obligated to attend every shindig like it's the North Pole party circuit. Select your events like a choosy party enthusiast—quality over quantity!

2.    Family Feud… No Thank You!

Your relatives might share DNA, but they don't come with a different rulebook. Politely remind them that the holiday season doesn't grant exemption to common courtesy. Boundaries apply to family too because nothing says "happy holidays" like respecting personal space.

3.    It’s About Cheer, not Approval.

During the holidays, it will be impossible to do it all. You won't make everyone happy. Embrace it. Release the need for universal applause and focus on those who truly matter.

4.    Tighten Those Purse Strings.

Don't turn your holiday joy into a financial nightmare, full of stress. Gifts are great but remember that the most priceless things can't be bought. Channel your inner frugal elf and spread joy without emptying your pockets.

5.    Create a Judgement Free Zone

Tis the season to be jolly, not judgmental. If someone makes Grinch-like judgements about you, shut it down faster than you can say "mistletoe." The holiday season does not give immunity to unkind comments.

6.    Stay Out of the Office.

Your 'Out of Office' is not just for emails; it's a state of mind. Whether you're sipping cocoa by the fire or facing the chaos of holiday shopping, respect your own boundaries. Your sanity will thank you.

7.    Rest is not Only for the Wicked

Ah, in the hustle and bustle of the holiday hullabaloo, don't forget to pencil in some quality R&R. Rest is like the secret ingredient that turns your holiday chaos into well-crafted holiday cookies. So, slap a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your busy schedule and declare a restful interlude.

And how do we communicate holiday boundaries?


Remember, boundaries are about you, not about other people. Use “I” statements such as:

  • I need…

  • I want…

  • I feel…


Others may be upset about your boundaries and that is okay.

Be realistic about how others may respond, preparing for feelings that are a little less than festive.

Setting boundaries is like sending out festive invitations to a VIP party in your mind - no grinches allowed!

It's the holiday version of saying, "Ho, ho, hold up, my mental space is sacred!"

You are allowed to declare that your soul needs tinsel too!





Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page