Hijacked Holidays

Right now I’m wondering if it is too late to purchase those cruise tickets for the holidays!

After the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, trimming the tree, and listening to the last minute “Oh, by the way, Mom, I forgot to tell you I am really hoping you got me ____________ for Christmas!” Along with trying for the fifth time to get all my twenty-somethings in the same place at the same time for Christmas dinner, Christmas Eve dinner, or any day the last week of December…

I’ve given up this year!!!

That cruise is sounding better by the minute.
I feel kind of like the bride who at the last week before her wedding is ready to elope!

Several years ago the movie, Christmas with the Kranks, based on the book Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham, kept me laughing through the Christmas season. My oldest, just then a senior in high school, was several years away from making his own decisions about going elsewhere for Christmas. Oh, sure, there was the going back and forth between our house and his girlfriend’s at the time, but then it was easy to work through timing of Christmas day. After all, teenage boys are ready to eat as many meals as possible in one day and still have room for extra dessert!

I remember watching the movie and reading the book, which catapulted me into the Christmas spirit, without having any idea of the emotion behind the laughter. The book was humorous…the movie borderline ridiculous…so I thought!

As I sit here contemplating this Christmas season, I now understand the desire to create joy for the holidays! Fun, festive, and lively would keep my emotions at bay. Something like a cruise could get me focused on something different other than my reality. I’m wrapped up in wanting Christmas to be a family affair, traditions that we’ve always had, everyone in the same place at the same time, and, of course, wanting the “significant other” that they’ve chosen to spend the holiday with to be someone worthy of giving up our family Christmas for.

I’m ready to do anything to lift my spirits from the realization that no matter what I want for the holidays…I am not in control! I will not get what I want!!

Even though it is difficult, I’m choosing to respect my twenty-somethings’ wishes. I’m choosing not to guilt them into doing things the way I would prefer…all in one place at the same time. I’m giving them choice to be here or not on their terms. For the first year in more than a decade since my first started dating, I’ve set a time to open presents as a family and they can choose whether they are going to be part of the festivities.

I’m realizing that there comes a point where traditions need to be flexible and change will occur. I’m choosing to embrace the change this year without whining to those that are pulling away. I’m promising myself to keep my tongue in check…

Ephesians 4:29

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

My twenty-somethings need to spread their wings. They need to learn to make difficult choices without the guilt. And the truth is…

I need to let go!

It is time for my husband and I to keep the traditions our children will allow us to maintain and create new ones that will help us remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given…

This holiday season, God is transitioning my thinking! In the past, Christmas has always centered around our children, teaching them about the Christ child, showing them the love that He has shared with us. He’s showing me that here…our work is coming to completion.

This year, God has given us friends to minister with in the moving of our kids into their own adulthood. We’re two families at the same stage of life…transitioning to show others the love that Christ has shared with us. We are actively choosing to spend the day with families who are less fortunate serving a Christmas meal. He’s teaching me to extend that love out into the world, by giving of myself.

Yes, the cruise sounds like fun…and I certainly wish we could maintain the tradition of family Christmas together…but I’m choosing to find the joy in this phase of life change.

Dare you to find the joy this Christmas season.

Double dare you to join us in sharing it outside of family.

Learning to let go in a big way this holiday season.

“Let go…and let God.”


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