Hi everyone, December is here and with its arrival the hubbub of getting ready for Christmas begins.
Because of how the season is created in the movies, the small screen, and Norman Rockwell paintings, we set our sights on making our “perfect Christmas” just like we’ve seen in the media.
On the big and small screens, families may have some turmoil but at the end when Christmas finally arrives all their problems are laid to rest and harmony reigns.
We have all watched as fictitious families sitting about the roaring flames in the fireplace enjoying the love and warmth of family. We have decided we want that too.
Then reality sinks in Christmas morning.
The kids are uncooperative in getting dressed for the obligatory dinner at moms, the dog gets sick from eating tinsel, and it has snowed so you are forced outdoors to shovel it out in the bitter cold.
Our conception of “the perfect Christmas” come crashing down.
“Well,” we may find ourselves thinking, “I’m sure somewhere there is someone having a perfect Christmas, but not here.”
Beset with anger and bitterness, we continue to force a smile and try our best to be jolly when we feel blue.
Sound familiar to anyone out there?
Here is some news that may shock you, no one has the perfect holiday experience. It’s a myth.
Let’s be honest, we set ourselves up for disappointment when we swallow the lie that families are always loving and supportive during the holidays. Beginning in September (at least in my town), big retailers begin putting up Christmas trees to entice shoppers. Then the day after Thanksgiving the madness begins.
The long lines.
Children crying because they want Christmas toys NOW.
The extra house cleaning.
The worry over how much you want to go into debt to “celebrate.”
The Christmas carols playing so loud in the department stores that they are annoying.
What we all need to realize is that although we have been influenced by what we view on TV, we are the ones who are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Perhaps it’s time to rearrange what “the perfect Christmas” means to us and our families.
The beginning of this change needs to be taking stock of what is important and what will last.
Will the toy your child gets this year be remembered in twenty years when they are grown?
And speaking of grown children, yours won’t be small for long, shouldn’t you be enjoying them today?
Perhaps it is time for us to set new traditions for our families such as telling each other one funny (not sarcastic) story about one family member on Christmas morning. Alert all the members of your household that they will be telling a story and draw names out of a hat to get the person they will be speaking on. Tell everyone to keep who they have pulled a secret and let the fun begin.
Plan to stay home Christmas morning. Relief yourself of the travel and cold. Then sit about and watch Christmas movies while eating cookies.
If the kids get rambunctious, plan ahead with some family games that all can participate in. If you have toddlers in your home, team them up with someone older.
Forget the hassle of shopping in busy and crowded stores.
Have everyone make their presents for one another. Ask for lists from everyone for the materials they need and tell everyone to help each other when aid is requested.
Reassure the kids that they will be receiving a few things from Santa, but don’t overdo it.
There are literally tons of things that you can plan but remember to keep it all light and to keep your expectations in check.
After all, kids are kids and there are bound to be a few moments of bickering along the way. Don’t get bogged down and blue when your kids don’t act like perfect Norman Rockwell angels during the holidays.
Decide with your family what really matters to all of you. I think you will find that what kids want from you at Christmas time isn’t the expensive presents or the ride to grandma’s house. What they want more than anything is your time, attention, and love.
We’ll be taking more looks at dealing with the holiday seasons as the month goes along. Keep your chin up and your head out of the perfect Norman Rockwell clouds.
Here at Patient Next Door we are dedicated to helping your family not only survive the holiday season, but to truly enjoy it.
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As always, we here at Patient Next Door love serving you and hope you will join us in aiding others in finding resources and hope.
We care about you.