Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Enjoying The Christmas Season

How could I not enjoy it with this view?  I get to see this every day and I'm loving it!

I find that in order for me to enjoy this season, I need to have little expectation for what it 'should' look like.  

This is a good thing, as I think too many people, at the holidays, have big expectations.  It should be Hallmark like, the family should all get together, siblings should get along, there should be peace on earth...

The realities are often very different and that can be hard to reconcile with our expectations.  If we can learn to hold these expectations loosely, and trust God with them, we can have a good Christmas, even a wonderful one.

Sometimes it's other peoples expectations that we are dealing with. Perhaps we have family that don't share our values, or who think we're the odd relatives.  Maybe you have an aunt that is critical of you but always expects to see you and your family at the holidays.  

The best advice I can give is to pray about it, and ask what you should do.  The right thing might be to drop in to visit your aunt, take her a little gift, let her see you all and then leave.  You can control how much time you spend with her that way.

I have a sweet friend with four young kids.  She said that every year they spent the all day on Christmas going from relatives home to relatives home and it was exhausting for her and her kids.  Two years ago they decided that they were going to stay home, in the jammies, all day!  But they knew that it was important to some of the family to see them, so they let it be known that everyone was welcome to drop in during the afternoon, as long as they realized that her family would all be in the PJs!  Isn't that a brilliant way to handle it?

Often times people don't spend time building relationship within their families, but when the holidays come, they expect everything to be perfect.  This just isn't reality.  Relationships take work to ensure peace and harmony.  If people aren't willing to invest the time to build relationships, the actual time together might be less than wonderful.

For us our kids are getting older, three are married with their own families, and so Christmas days are looking different, and rightly so, than they did even just five years ago.  It would be wrong of me to insist that everyone come here on Christmas!  We give them all freedom to do what they want to do.  

We have older friends whose kids are all grown with kids of their own and some years when their kids have been with the inlaws, our friends have gone on cruises!

Enjoy the Christmas season, embrace its beauty and its gifts, but also choose what works for you this year.  It might be different than in years past and that's okay.  It really is.


Tanya @ Ever After Cottage said...

I used to struggle a little with Christmas. I always loved this time of year, but I had such a hard time finding the peace we were supposed to have. It dawned on me that I have great spiritual peace through salvation, but physical and mental peace around the holidays was nowhere to be found. Then I realized that this time of year is all about abundance - abundance of blessings in family, friends, food, gifts, preparations, celebrations - and the peace comes after. It was a subtle shift, but exactly what I needed to be able to fully enjoy the season. I can now love the abundance (mostly) even when it means busy, busy, busy, and look forward to the peace that will come. And isn't that where we should be - living fully this life but also looking forward to the peace of eternity?

Rebecca said...

For us, every year is different.
And that's just fine.
Yours is looking BEAUTIFUL ♥

Vee said...

Things change so fast that it’s enough to give one whiplash. It is true that there are
many ways to celebrate Christmas; however I’ll take the most family oriented,
traditional way, if at all possible. (Still learning to be flexible...😏) I do love your Christmasy view!

Debby Ray said...

Deanna, this is truly a great post and one that I can relate to very well. Our oldest grandson (19) chose not to come to the family gathering, either on Thanksgiving, his birthday which was the next day OR our Christmas gathering over the past weekend. We don't really know what is going on with him (he lives with his mother who is not married to my son) but he is totally unmotivated. He and his dad have had their issues but we never dreamed he would decide not to come. I prayed all last week about it but vowed that I would not let it ruin our time. It certainly wasn't the first time we ever had tension during the holidays but it really is a hard thing to deal with. I just had to give the whole situation to the Lord and we has a wonderful time, even though we missed him being there and it just wasn't the same. Thank you for posting this, one that many could probably relate to. And I absolutely LOVE the look of your warm and comfy room...the tartan plaid is just so perfect and I want that ornament in your header!!

podso said...

Wise words! Flexibility, a sense of humor and appreciation of small moments all go a long way in enjoyment of this special season of celebrating our Savior's birth.

Kim said...

Absolutely! Most years I have had 30+ people here on Christmas day, but as you said, times change. My nieces and nephews live in other states now with babies of their own. Travel isn't always realistic. This year, my sisters are going to visit them and so we will have a jammies Christmas here! I have to say, I'm kind of looking forward to it!


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