Holidays can be stressful! I remember the first few years rotating holidays with Mike's and my family required a special adjustment for me. With divorced parents, I already had adjusted to going to multiple homes to celebrate. It can be a little tricky timing the dinners so you aren't stuffed from one turkey before eating another. I remember enjoying being with Mike's family but missing my family and traditions at the same time. My mother-in-law's cooking is delicious, but it wasn't the Thanksgiving menu I was used to. Change can be tough and it can ruin your holiday if you don't take the time to make a mental shift BEFORE you're at the table passing the mashed potatoes.
For this Thanksgiving and Christmas, if you find yourself away from some of the people or traditions that have always been a part of your holiday, spend some time in prayer and giving thanks that you have added to your family rather than dwelling on what is missing. Making this shift in thinking will make all the difference!
Some questions to ask each other as you travel:
- What is your favorite holiday memory?
- What is the biggest recipe disaster you remember trying…or that Aunt Edna continues to serve so I can avoid it!
- What traditions do you want us to adapt in our family?
- What can we do to include family that we may not be able to be with on the actual holiday? (e.g. sending cards, video conferencing, phone calls, sharing stories about a loved one no longer with us.)
Give thanks that your family has gotten bigger, that you have food to eat, and that you have each other to navigate these new ways of celebrating together. Your heart and your family will be better for it!
“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
Leigh Ann Napier
The Happy Marriage Coach
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