Family and the Holidays

I struggle with change. Change just takes time, sometimes more time and energy than I care to put forth. When things aren’t working I need to stop, take a step back, assess the situation, search deep inside to discover what I am trying to achieve and then make an intentional choice. Holidays are a test for me.

For the first 30 years, I did not have to change. I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas Day at my parents’ house with my parents, my sister and my brother. It was very predictable, expected and was what I needed at that time. All that changed when I got divorced. I had absolutely no idea how I complicated future family interactions. I now had to share my boys’ time with their father. Then later with their stepmother. I had to give up the holiday traditions that I grew up with and cherished. So when my boys were 2 years old – I gave up celebrating Christmas on December 25. Thanksgiving was easier to adjust to – they didn’t like turkey.

Now at holiday time, I have to stop, step back, assess the situation, search deep inside to discover what I want to have happen and then make an intentional choice. All this requires extra care for there are many people involved.  Steve and I have 5 kids located in 4 states, 3 grandchildren in 2 states, one parent alive and remarried, three ex-spouses that are still involved and two children with in-laws to balance time with. Each year poses a unique situation and precious opportunity to see and share the beauty and love around us.

Releasing the pressure of that one day of the year opened my eyes. Every day is magical (if I remember), not just holidays. This time of year reminds me to be thankful every day for the time I spend with my loved ones. It also creates a trust that God is always here, not just on that day.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!

Mary Guldan-Lindstrom  

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