Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Q.  Each year I put all my energy into making Christmas magical and special for everyone. But my husband couldn't care less. He gripes about the money I'm spending and puts a wet blanket on the holidays. In addition, the kids get so excited that they're hyper for weeks beforehand. Then to top it off my mother spends Christmas with us and is always sad because Dad isn't with us. (He died 4 years ago.) I thought Christmas was supposed to be a perfect time of family harmony. What am I doing wrong? What can I do to create a perfect Christmas for us all?

Wanting A Perfect Christmas
You cannot single handedly make Christmas perfect for your family. They need to be involved. Are you so busy with Christmas preparations that you’re giving your family less attention than usual? If so, they may resort to irritable or impatient behavior to get your attention. In other words, you may need to change your own attitude and behavior during the preparations for Christmas so that you aren't neglecting anyone and so they feel included. Relax and focus on the joy and promise of Christmas. Lighten your mood and this will help everyone lighten up.

Have a talk with your husband. Ask him how he would like the family to celebrate Christmas. What does he enjoy the most? What does he enjoy the least? How did his family celebrate Christmas when he was a child? How much money does he think the family should spend? What would a perfect Christmas look like to him? Listen carefully to his answers and don't jump in and disagree.
Enlist his ideas and help in shopping and carrying out plans. If he's an active participant he will do less complaining. Can you give up some control of the holiday planning in exchange for a happier husband? If the two of you are really at odds, talk with a pastor or counselor. A family cannot have a perfect Christmas if major differences are unsettled.
Once you and your husband are in agreement, a family meeting can also be helpful.  Listen to your children's ideas about how they picture a perfect Christmas. Work their ideas into your plans if possible. Let them know what is planned and that their help is needed. Just before your mother arrives you might have a cleaning hour with everyone in the family working for an hour. The children can help dust, vacuum, put toys away, and so forth. An advent calendar in which the children mark off the days until Christmas can help them understand how long they have to wait. Teach them also that much of the fun of Christmas is the planning and anticipation of the day. Be excited with them.
When your mother mentions her sadness at losing your Dad, spend an hour or more encouraging her to talk about him. Look through old photo albums and reminisce with her. Perhaps she would like to tell the children some story about him they've never heard. Rather than detracting from the Holiday spirit talking about your Dad can help you become closer to your mother as well as helping all of you grieve his loss. After your Mom has talked at length you might ask her if she thinks your Dad would mind if she enjoyed Christmas without him here. She may feel she's being disloyal if she’s not sad. You won’t have a perfect Christmas but it can come closer to being so.

To have perfect Christmas focus on the reason for the season. Worship together, sing Christmas Carols, attend special Christmas church events together. Focus as a family on the meaning of Christmas. The most magical and special Christmas was the first one. It was a perfect Christmas.

“For unto us a child is born.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Blessings, Dottie

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