Maybe This Christmas Will Be Different....

 


Visitors: 522

Have you always dreamed of a Norman Rockwell Christmas - where everyone is singing Christmas carols and there is joy in the house? Alas, your Christmas memories are often filled with Uncle Joe getting drunk and your parents ending up in a fight. By the end of Christmas day family members are mad and no one is talking to one another.

Christmas can be very difficult if you grew up in a dysfunctional family and you choose to go home for Christmas. Often the holidays bring out the worst in families instead of the best. Old arguments that have never been resolved are reignited. Old wounds that you thought were healed are ripped open once again.

Is there anything you can do to truly make this Christmas different?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Pray that God will give you the wisdom to know when to speak and when to stay quiet. Many times you won’t win the age old argument. Is it worth the fight?

2. Have realistic expectations about what will happen at your family gathering. Often we dream and envision things will be different and our dreams are crushed once again.

3. Limit your time or choose not to place yourself in toxic situations. If you will be putting yourself or your children in physical or emotional danger you may need to choose to stay home.

4. Remember and be with your “adopted family”. Often people from dysfunctional families have extremely close friends who feel like family. I have had several people tell me about a friend who is like a sister or a mother to them. You may choose to spend Christmas with your “adopted family”.

5. Remember your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally and that he can meet your needs, even when your earthly family does not meet your needs.

6. Recognize that there is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance of actions. You can and should forgive family members and others who have hurt you. That does not mean their actions were acceptable. Also, you can be cautious of putting yourself into situations where you could be emotionally or physically harmed once again.

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You may have made great progress in your own spiritual and emotional growth and find when you go home you are right back where you started. Dysfunctional family patterns have a tremendous pull. You can realign yourself when you return to your own home.

8. Make a conscious choice to raise your own children and live your life in a more healthy family. Decide what new Christ honoring traditions you want to start for your family.

9. Be open to and aware of other people who come from hurting families. You have a story you may choose to share of the healing that has occurred for you. You can give others hope.

10. Be aware that your own addictions may resurface. Those could include overspending, overeating, drinking, or drug use. Often we try to soothe our emotional pain by overspending or overeating.

Above all I pray you will be kind to yourself. Have realistic expectations of what Christmas will be for your family. Create your own good memories with your own family or your “adopted family”. Remember Mary’s first Christmas was probably not what she expected. She probably did not plan on delivering Jesus in a barn, but what a blessed and glorious night. May God be your peace and joy this Christmas.

© 2004 Kimberly Chastain

About the Author

Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping Christian women make the most of their lives. She is the author of the on-line course, “I Can’t Say No” and Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms, a free e-book. If you suffer from “I Can’t Say ‘No” Syndrome, visit Kimberly’s site today for the details on an exciting email course that’s sure to set you free! http://www.christianworkingmom.com/online.htm. The Text Information Box above MUST be included for reprint privileges. You may reprint this article in it’s entirety with the attached text box.

(746)

Article Source:


 
Rate this Article: 
 
Christmas Giving - 7 Tips Show How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Christmas!
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes
ArticleSlash

Related Articles:

Christmas Poems: Use Rhyming Christmas Greetings to Make Your Christmas Card or .

by: Joanna Fuchs (December 01, 2005) 
(Home and Family/Holidays)

Christmas Gifts for Men - Great Christmas Gift Ideas for the Man in Your Life

by: Tim Armstrong (November 08, 2010) 
(Shopping and Product Reviews/Gifts)

Christmas Gift Giving Without Money - How To Give Great Christmas Gifts When ..

by: Janice Wee (November 22, 2005) 
(Home and Family/Holidays)

Santa's Big Helper, Christmasville, Christmas Mahjong Free - Apps You Should ..

by: Steve August (December 18, 2011) 
(Computers and Technology/Mobile Computing)

Toys For Christmas - Do Leave it Too Late As the Popular Christmas Toy Sell Out .

by: Cillian Bailey (November 22, 2008) 
(Kids and Teens)

Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Trees - Making Christmas Easy

by: D Randolph (June 25, 2007) 
(Home and Family/Holidays)

Christmas Recipes: Cakes & Tarts. No.3 of 7 - Christmas Day Muffins

by: Paul Curran (October 17, 2005) 
(Food and Drink/Recipes)

Christmas – Santa Reveals a Magic Secret of Christmas – The Law of ..

by: Bernadette Dimitrov (November 25, 2006) 
(Home and Family)

Christmas Recipes: Cakes & Tarts, No.7 of 7 - Christmas Swiss Roll

by: Paul Curran (October 25, 2005) 
(Food and Drink/Recipes)

Christmas Giving - 7 Tips Show How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Christmas!

by: Bernadette Dimitrov (December 16, 2005) 
(Home and Family/Holidays)