HAVE FUN…whether you like it or not!

December is always a colorful month. It’s good to see holiday cheer beginning.

I haven’t really had a holiday in over a decade and this month I am taking family and friends up on invitations to go various places. It feels bizarre because I have been particularly shut in since Mom died on Dec 24th of 2001.

But, I am taking a different attitude and spending much of this month visiting and doing friend and family outings and travelling. I’m not gonna lie to you, I find it difficult and if you are a bit of a hermit, you may understand that.

Being a big ‘people watcher’, it’s interesting to see how other families react to the season which I suppose is part of what has turned me off of the holidays to begin with. But with taking on this fresh outlook, I am trying diligently not to be tainted by things I disagree with and let it slide a bit more. Public places really show bad parenting at its finest. Can you imagine what we don’t see?

Losing Mom was a wake-up call for me. I started out being very bitter that she was gone and people were still fighting. So I isolated myself for years. I realized that sweating the little holiday stuff is not worth it. It just doesn’t matter. I used to listen to arguments over which day someone would have Christmas, who would be hosting it, what food would be cooked, how much to spend on presents and despite everyone thinking the season is especially for little ones…the little ones would feel the biggest part of the stress. That bothers me when it’s parents fighting with their kids in an amusement park or shopping mall setting because those places were originally intended to bring people closer.(or uh, make money on bringing people closer…haha)

When I look back at my childhood, despite losing Daddy at a young age, my fondest memories were of me doing something or doing nothing WITH my Mother. I especially loved bringing a very large stack of books into her at night not necessarily with the hope of reading them all, but prolonging our time together before bed. It amazes me how parents are annoyed by it. If they really viewed it as it is, the child just loving to be with them, they might take a cooler approach to bedtime. I never argued with her over bedtime, she just made it enjoyable and I accepted the sleep part as being a necessary health thing for me because she explained it that way.
I know during the holidays depending on who I visit, I am going to see parents stressed out. As natural and somewhat normal as this is, if everyone jumped up into my Father’s airplane at a few thousand feet and looked down, they’d see how the little things don’t matter. I should say, the little quarrels don’t matter…because the hugs, kisses and small words are very important.

I know it’s economically been a tough year for many, but I am pretty sure most children could be ok with less ‘stuff’ if the parents would worry less about how the house looks and would get down on the ground and play with them. It’s my opinion that spending time WITH family rather than spending money ON family is what they will remember in 10, 20 and 50 years. I remember the toys and books where Mom played or read them with me. I only treasure those items because of the experience, not because of the bits and pieces themselves. There are so many great books now and many have forgotten about them. Kids love curling up with them if a parent is involved.

In other areas, there are lonely people (ie, families of soldiers etc) who would appreciate the time being spent also….of course, not just the holidays, but every day.

I hope all of you are able to take the opportunity this season to assess or reassess your relationship with your family, perhaps find someone you haven’t had a deep conversation with, ignore the housework and curl up on the sofa with them over tea.

I’m looking forward to doing just that.

Much love on you and Happy Holidays!
Karen :)

"A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it." ~Marcelene Cox

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