I had great visions when I was a younger mom. As I look back I see how they were “visions of sugar plums” and fairytales dancing in my head. The vivid pictures of my three young children and I sitting on the couch all peacefully reading a book together — well, let’s just say that never happened.
And as the children grew so did my visions. My minds eye could see my children, their spouses and their children all nestled in for Christmas. There would be lots of laughter, cookies, people and wrapping everywhere. It was family and we were all together.
I’m not sure if you just popped in to Positively Alene today or if you’ve been hanging here awhile, but either way you have to know 2015 was a crazy year in the Snodgrass household. Did I say crazy? Well, I mean totally cray-cray!
For the past three years we have taken family pictures in December. We have to redo them every year because they need updated. This year was no different. Let me just give you the short version.
We began the year wedding dress shopping for my oldest daughter and had a baby shower for my son’s wife. Grandson was born. Soon there were wedding showers for my daughter. Said daughter gets married to a man in the Coast Guard. They prepare to move to the Florida Keys. Daughter finds out she’s pregnant. More sonograms and baby showers. It was wild and crazy. Youngest daughter heads to Africa for a few months. Daughter has baby early and then it’s time for the holidays.
If you got the message of that short story, you can imagine it was a lot for a mom to juggle and work through. It was a blessed time and every memory was incredible. But surely a lot of emotion for a momma soul.
I sit here. The house is all lit with Christmas lights, trees and decorations galore. It’s cozy but it’s quiet. Remember those visions that I had when my children were younger — big family, lots of laughter, and time spent together galore. Well, that’s so much not happening.
Between my growing families distance from home and crazy work schedules, we have had to have many Christmases. We traveled to Florida the beginning of December to have our Florida Christmas. Is it what I dreamed of in years past? Obviously not. But did that ruin it? No. It was a special celebration in it’s own way as my granddaughter was there.
Then due to my son’s family work schedule we’ve already Christmased with them. We found a time when all of our schedules meshed and made it work. That was a task all in itself as my husband works week on-week off as a pilot, my daughter-in-law is a nurse, and my son works for the Church and has a crazy Christmas schedule. Although I never would have dreamed of this, it was a great morning. Small, quaint, and the perfect morning for my grandson’s first Christmas.
And then on Christmas, we’ll Christmas again with the three of us here.
I’ve met so many friends over the years who have great family traditions for Christmas. I would love hearing about their stories. But as their children grew older and plans had to change, it’s as if they couldn’t let that season go and move on. They were determined to force their old season “traditions” in to a new season.
Let me just say that forcing the old on the new is stressful for all.
I think of my sweet friend who recently went through a divorce. Christmas sure doesn’t look like how her momma soul visioned it. But she smiles and makes the best of things. The divided times are just what they are, but you can bet the moments she has her children she makes them moments to remember.
I totally get how hard it is to not have your family all together. Trust me — I do! But trying to fit old traditions in to a bigger family where there are in-laws, a different spouse and more children involved only causes more stress. Stress on your children. Please, for the love of Pete, let it go.
This letting go is hard. But if you’ll remember the true power source of all light — Jesus — he’ll help you through.
Decide that you’ll be flexible and enjoy each moment. Isn’t Christmas about being together? Isn’t it about Jesus? It’s so amazing how we each get caught up in the “way things should be” that we miss the way they are.
We miss the moment. And if we’re not careful because of our preconceived notions we could miss the joys of Christmas and worse yet beautiful memories with our children.
Are you struggling with letting go of the old? If so, give me a shout and let’s talk about how to implement a new. A new where you have special moments with each family member that can linger and last. It is possible, it is!
Do you have suggestions for how to create a new holiday celebration? If so, I’d love to hear about it.