I had the privilege of guest blogging for Crystal Twaddell’s blog Made for Brave. I discussed the reality of the holiday blues and how we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas to combat these unmet expectations. Check it out this link when you have the chance!
A grieving process happens during the holidays, where traditions you had even last year don’t happen anymore. Loved ones pass away. Divorce separates us from those who are still alive but have chosen not to be part of the family. It is normal to have feelings of disappointment during the holidays.
In light of this topic, I wanted to discuss the value of communication. Lenny and I have carried traditions from both of our sides of the family that have clashed. We’ve been able to work through them every year because we’ve been able to communicate. Now that we are one, we have the opportunity to create new memories and new traditions with our new family (meaning the two of us). The question is: Which traditions from our childhood do we carry with us to our future traditions? Communication will help us find out answer.
However, as I mention in my guest post, there’s an expectation for everyone to be perfect and for there to be no negativity and no conflict. If anyone speaks his/her mind, Christmas is ruined! To be honest, I’ve probably “ruined” a couple of Christmases over the years. When you get married, you definitely step on the toes of your in-laws when it comes to the holidays. Both your side of the family and your spouse’s side of the family are trying to squeeze in time to see you, when you honestly just want to sit on your comfy couch, drink hot cocoa, and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Talking to your spouse about your expectations can help you communicate your expectations to each side of the family. They won’t understand if you won’t teach them, and you can’t understand unless you process how you feel yourself.
The reality is, if you’re married, you and your spouse are a team. If you’re dreading the holidays, you are not alone. First of all, a lot of people experience stress, anxiety, and depression during this time of the year. In addition to that, your spouse can be a source of comfort for you.
Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas helps put things in perspective. We celebrate the fact that God is literally with us. He’s not in some distant land, wishing us the best. He’s right there in the trenches, fighting for us and giving us the strength to overcome. When we have that lens, everything else falls into place. New traditions are made. Family drama suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. And the depression is slowly, but surely, replaced by the good news of great joy that was proclaimed on that first Christmas day.
Photo by https://unsplash.com/@kadh