Kristina from 3 Under 4 is visiting Better in Bulk today while we finish our drive to Florida. Soon I will be relaxing on Florida’s beaches. It may not be the summer, but even 74° will feel like paradise compared to the snow that we left back home in Maryland. Kristina is a fellow Blog Frogger and mother of several small children (who are pretty dang cute – see below). Please welcome Kristina!
This Christmas has been one characterized by adjustments. My parents’ divorce went through this year and my mom also got remarried. My brother is once again deployed in Afghanistan and my husband is working both Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
I don’t bring any of this up to invoke pity or to make you feel badly. In all reality, I am excited about this Christmas and I wanted to share some holiday tips regarding how I am enjoying the holiday in the midst of the crazy changes in my life.
Find the Happiness
I am a firm believer in the fact that there is a good thing in every situation. Maybe I am a bit too positive, but truly, all of these changes have brought something good to my life. I am thankful for my family and since my mom got remarried, three step-siblings (even though they are grown) have been added to my family. My brother may be in Afghanistan, but he and I are much closer now that he is in the Marine Corps than we were when he was a civilian. Yes, my husband will work on Christmas, but that will give us a chance to not only celebrate a small Christmas with his family, but also one with our nuclear family! There is so much to be thankful for this season! Healthy children, healthy spouses, a job, family that is both here and far away, a country, a place to live! I would be remiss to not be grateful for those things.
Pick a Tradition
When I got married, my husband and I brought two families, both rich in tradition together and we have been trying to meld them ever since! Recently, I have found that I am beginning to enjoy his family’s traditions and yet I still miss some that I practiced growing up. Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, some of these traditions no longer continue. However, one thing I found that truly helps me enjoy Christmas is to pick one tradition to practice with my kids and focus on that. This year I am making “Bedtime Bags” as seen in Amanda Blake Soule’s book The Creative Family. Each child will also get a special pair of pajamas to open and wear on Christmas Eve.
Focus on the Memories
Yes, making cookies with children is messier and takes longer than if I were to do it myself, but what kinds of memory does that make? Hmmm? None, other than whether or not I burned the cookies. I struggle with this last tip because I want to go, go, go and nothing makes me happier than crossing items off my “to-do” list, but on December 26, what will I remember of Christmas? Will I remember rushing around like a crazy woman and scolding my kids while they watched TV or will I have memories of baking or decorating or caroling?
So, this Christmas I challenge you to find the happiness in your life and focus on that. Pick one tradition to pass on to your children this year and then look forward to doing it again next year. Focus on making memories even if it takes a little longer. Lastly, have a very Merry Christmas!
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