Mama, I know you’re struggling about another extended family holiday. You can’t take another fight, judgmental comments or snarky remarks. Your worried about the guilt trip leading up to the day and the weeks after for missing. Let me tell you a secret…..
You can stay home. It’s ok to take a break. You don’t have to go no matter how much everyone else says you do. You can take the day to spend with your little family. You can skip the hours of getting into the fancy outfits that the kids are going to spill punch and potatoes on and stay in PJ’s and watch TV while eating junk food. It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to stay home.
The last few years holidays have been rough. I love spending time with my large extended family, most of my memories are set on a holiday of some sort. We always had 4 Generations all under 1 roof for a few hours playing games, sharing memories and catching up makes for the best of the time together. But the last few years have been like walking on egg shells. It has been an internal struggle holiday after holiday as I watch family drama, fights and petty quarrels destroy family those vary bonds we have built over decades of fun.
Even harder is when you mention possibly not coming… Cue the guilt trip.
The last year my mom has told me “You know your dad and I will be there, every holiday so if you want to to spend the day with us you know where we will be” that cuts me to the heart because I explained why I couldn’t do another holiday.
Do I really want them to feel uncomfortable? Do I really want them to remember Christmas dinners as fights over 40 year old papers? Do I want them to think of Easter and remember arguments over a hat being worn in the house? Or complaints because so and so was sleeping on the couch and had their feet up on the cushion?
The answer is no. I want the holidays to be magical, fun and loving. I want them to feel safe and happy as they run and play with cousins for hours only stopping long enough to grab some food and cupcake. I want them to build close bonds and memories with their Aunts, Uncles and Cousins that will last a lifetime like I have. I want them to play and laugh so hard they fall asleep 5 minutes into the car ride home.
For now we are going to stay home and that is okay. For now we will keep our circle small. For now we will pick and choose what events we want to go to. We will put our little family first and do smaller outings or play dates with family where we can feel safe.
And you can do that too!
You can take back the holidays and make them what is important to you. You can focus on the love an meaning of the holidays rather than how it has always been done.
Tell us what is one way you make the holidays your own?