Holidays can be a frustrating time for a lot of families. There are at least two sets of extended family in each marriage. When your children marry, you are adding another family. If you have more than one child you will end up adding several families that you will need to consider when you plan each holiday event. Who will be where and when can turn what should be a joyous holiday into an incident of international proportion.
We all have those friends and relatives who just seem to live to make our lives difficult — or at least it seems that way some days, and especially when it comes to holidays.
What can you do to bring peace into this situation? I would like to propose two things.
First, that you take a look at the idea of celebrating the Christmas season, rather than just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We actually do a lot of our entertaining before Christmas during Advent and after Christmas, during the 12 days of Christmas.
This works for other holidays too. The idea is to get together with extended family. This doesn’t have to happen on the exact day – for instance Thanksgiving day. This year we are getting together for Thanksgiving dinner on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We will still be thankful, we will still be with those we love, we will still have a great time. It will just be a couple of days later.
And what will we do on Thanksgiving day? We get to be together as a family. Our own celebration of just us five. We’ll have a special dinner, although we’ll save turkey for Saturday. We’ll have our Sicilian Meat Loaf which everyone loves. We’ll probably play board games and just relax together. It’s almost like having two Thanksgivings.
Second, I want to suggest the option of choosing to be the family that is flexible during the holiday season.
I would like to share how we as a family have chosen to be the “flexible” family in our extended family. Does this mean we’ve become the pawns in the lives of those we love? No, by no means, but we choose to be the ones who are willing to be available, willing to change, willing to go the extra mile to be sure that others are enjoying the holidays.
We make it one of our gifts to our families. As the only Christians in our extended families, we have decided to go out of our way to see that others’ needs are met before our own.
Join me on our journey to be joyful and flexibility during the holidays. How can you be flexible so your family members can have an enjoyable holiday?
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