Family for the Holidays

For me Christmas means family.  It is a time for me to shift my thoughts from the financial success of work to the heart and soul of family.  For without family why work so hard?   The hardest challenge is to let go of expectations and go with the flow.  Family as I grew up with is not family as I experience it today.  When I was less than 4 feet tall I recall waking up at 5:00 am sneaking down the staircase to see what Santa left behind.  I would tiptoe as softly as I could to check out the size of the presents and read the tags to see who they were for.  Then I would sneak back up the stairs into my bedroom.  If the excitement overtook me I would wake my sister and share with her what I saw.  Otherwise I had to wait until everyone was up.

When my boys were young Christmas took another turn. The boys spent Christmas morning with their Dad and I got them Christmas Eve.  Santa had to adapt as well.  He had so many stops, that he started delivering presents over a few days, instead of one evening.

Now it is time for another transformation.  Instead of two children, we have five children with significant others and three grandchildren.  They are now living in Madison, Vermont and Arizona.  We try to keep Christmas Eve as family, but this year that isn’t going to work.  I will have to adapt again.

It is difficult to recreate the Christmas’s of my childhood.  Our family dynamics have changed.  While keeping the memories in check I look to create the warmth and closeness in new and creative ways.  For the last 20 years I have shared Christmas Day with my husband Steve and will do so this year as well. In early January I will spend time with my boys in Arizona.  I will share the holidays with the other family members with short visits and warm thoughts in my heart.  So throughout December I will decorate my home with holiday pieces from the past, watch the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel, send Christmas cards to those who have touched my life and savor the new memories that I experience.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Mary Guldan-Lindstrom


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