'Family Christmas'– does that phrase bring good or bad memories to mind?
"Family Christmas" brings all sorts of warm childhood memories to my mind. I remember food, fun, family, laughter and most of all love.
At least that is how I remember my childhood Christmases. Who knows, maybe my parents had stresses with our family christmas that I was not aware of?
Let me share a typical childhood Christmas for me.
I had lots of Aunts, Uncles and cousins right in Toronto where I grew up. On Christmas eve we would get together at church. The service was boring to this child but when you are sitting shoulder to shoulder with siblings and cousins, and 'visions of sugar plums' dancing in your head, it was pure fun. After church we would go back to someone's house for goodies and visiting and opening one present.
On Christmas morning my sister and I (after having slept for 2-4 hours) would wake up our folks at 5 or so. My mom would not deviate from her usual routine of washing her face, putting on lipstick, and adding pearls to her already beautiful negiligee outfit. Before we could start any present opening she would prepare tea and toast and fruit and bring it into the living room on a tray. I guess she thought no one should open presents on an empty stomach. After presents were torn open, my mom and dad might sometimes go back to bed (I thought they were sleeping) while my sister and I would play with our new stuff.
A little later in the morning we got together with our cousins for breakfast and more gift opening. Whoever did the breakfast didn't do the evening meal. After this lovely time of family, presents and food, home we would go.
Oh my goodness, a lull on Christmas day? Not for long. Soon we were packed up and going to visit our step relatives for more gifts and food. Then it was back home to prepare for the evening meal. While waiting for the final event of the day, my sister and I would lovingly arrange our stash of goods under the tree and discuss whether or not there might still anyone else who had a gift for us.
The next and last part of the day was a delicious turkey supper. I can still picture my uncle carving the meat. I can taste my aunt's pies. I can see my mother's pretty face. I can see my dad lovingly looking over us all. And I can see my sister, always there, usually right beside me. My sister was the one constant of every Christmas.
Were all of my Christmases so busy, so idyllic, so full of family. No, they weren't. There were probably only five or so like the one I described. This was probably my most ideal one, at least to me, as a child.
Maybe our childlike recollections of Christmas set all of us up for being disappointed in Christmas when we become adults? If we did have a happy family Christmas it might have been partly because we weren't involved in any of the planning or the work? We just turned up, opened gifts, ate food and enjoyed.
'Family christmas' – does it conjure up happy childhood memories or not?
'Family' can be one of those Christmas landmines we have been talking about.
For further reading you may want to check out Holiday Stress: 6 Ways To Deal With Difficult Family Members During The Holidays
WHAT ABOUT YOU? 'Family christmas' – does it conjure up happy childhood memories or not? And what about now? What kind of interactions are you looking forward to or dreading this Christmas? If there is no way to avoid situations or people who are unpleasant for you, can you figure out some way of dealing with it to minimize the stress?
I am so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up. I am praying for you – right now.
Please comfort and heal the dear person who is reading this. Show them ways to minimize stress this Christmas. Thanks Lord.