Family Matters: Lead with Love

“No one said it would be easy, but no one said it would be this hard,” croons Sheryl Crow about the burden of making everyone happy during the holidays. Wait. That’s not true. She is singing about finding a pair of jeans that make her butt look awesome. Wait. That’s not true either. The song could be about the holidays though because it is so HARD to make time for all the people, events, food and shopping that needs to get done. Whatever your circumstance is, be it divorced parents, or maybe your children have birthdays in December, it is important to keep your cool and lead with love.

I may know a thing, or two, about children with December birthdays…

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For the most part, most of my family and my husband’s family live in town. You would think this would mean that we see each other so much that we don’t feel guilty if we spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with another. No, we still feel torn. We still want to please. We try and make sure that we give time to everyone. I have found hosting to be helpful. If I host, I just invite everyone. I’ve been hosting Easter for years now. I enjoy seeing everyone at once. I know mixing family can sometimes be stressful, but it’s for the greater good.

I don’t like rushing around, from house to house, trying to please everyone. I run around from the kids drop-off at school, to work, to home all week long. I don’t want our holidays to feel like a mad dash to the next event. I want to sit down next to a loved one and look into their eyes and ask them how they are and wait for the answer. I want my family and friends to feel loved. In order to be present and calm at the events we do attend, I have to say NO. A LOT. When I say no to more shopping, I’m saying yes to less credit card guilt. I am also saying yes to my mental health by staying out of the crazy lines. When I say NO to driving to visit both grandparents on Christmas Day, I am saying yes to more playtime for my kids and snuggle time for my husband and I.

I want the holidays to be about love and making happy memories. I want to hug longer and sing louder each year. In order to do that, I have to make better choices. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to make family a priority, it just means that when I have to make a decision on an event, I will pause and ask if it will bring my family more love, peace and joy. Because THAT is what I want for my family for Christmas.

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