Trust me,and I speak from experience, when I tell you that the holidays are so much more than the curated social media theme of the perfect holiday outfit accompanied by a Hallmark movie style family gathering.
Honestly, I'd liken our family holidays to that of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation haha.
But seriously, a lot of times I find I'm so worried about making a holiday so so special for the kids or meeting this unreal expectation, that often the pressure I put on myself, takes joy away from what matters the most.
This past weekend was the first time in 5+ years that my siblings and family have been together on a holiday. Addiction has played a role and taken a heavy toll on past family gatherings. To be transparent,there were times, I thought the next time we'd all be together was at a funeral.
So to say this past weekend really put things in perspective for me, would be an understatement. Let me put it like this, if the turkey had been burnt to a crisp and if all I could've worn was a trash bag to our pre- Thanksgiving dinner....my heart would still be equally as full. You see, I now consider those things as "holiday bonuses/enhancements"if you will, but they won't be what I remember when I look back on that weekend.
I'll remember that we were together as a whole family again. I'll remember my that we laughed until we cried and had multiple dance parties in the living room ( PS. I'm still working on that moonwalk.) I'll remember the kids getting time back with their Uncle. I'll remember that all 20+ of us sat and sang praise and worship songs for what seemed like hours, and feeling like my heart was going to burst for the grace and mercy God has shown our family. I'll remember the smiles on mom and dads face.
Was it a Hallmark holiday ? Probably not.
Did we sleep like we were on vacation? Definitely not.
Did we bicker? Of course.
Was my turkey seasoning good? Not really. Turns out Dad isn't a fan of rosemary.
Did we chase toddlers every 30 seconds to keep them from going down the stairs? YEP.
Would we do it all over again? A MILLION TIMES YES.
I understand God didn't create families with a cookie cutter. But whatever your family looks like, I encourage you to invest in memories and not silly holiday expectations.Take a deep breathe and enjoy the time with those you love.