Maybe This Christmas will be different.....
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.
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
there anything you can do to truly make this
are a few suggestions:
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
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.
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.
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
Remember your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally
and that he can meet your needs, even when your
earthly family does not meet your needs.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chastain is a Professional Life Coach and Licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist. Kimberly is also
the author of the ebook entitled, "Pearls
of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms."
She has a passion for working with Christian
Working Moms to help them find satisfaction
in all their many different roles. To find out
more go to www.christianworkingmom.com You can
order the ebook and sign up for a free introductory