Turn on your television on any given evening these days and you'll likely find all the good parts of Christmas from friends, family, presents, parties, beliefs, and overall joy. The truth is for most of us, though, Christmas is not always 100% joy and all the good things. If you have ever spent a Christmas with sick kids or sick yourself you will know exactly what I mean. If you have ever lost a loved one during the season, you will know the heartache that can come with Christmas. There is even some bad found in the good quite often when it comes to Christmas. Unless you have that perfect family that gets along all the time, Christmas can be a time when the dysfunctional parts of your family can become more apparent and create all sorts of issues.
Christmas is a mix of feelings for me because of those very things. I lost my grandmother on Boxing Day when I was younger and it is a memory forever etched in my mind. The woman who taught me how to bake several of the sweets we sell at Christmas time. I also don't have the perfect family, we fight and much of the time can't get along because of such vastly different personalities. I also though love Christmas and experience so much joy from spending time with my wife and kids. I think Christmas is one of the best times to look for the silver lining in even the bad that we can experience.
Losing a loved one at Christmas is tough, but part of healing is getting to a place of realizing they are always with you in your memories. I also think it is a great time to be thankful for the past we had with those we lost. I spent a lot of my childhood with my grandparents, very fond memories. On my father's side I never had grandparents, as they both died before I was born, so I recognize how fortunate I am to have those times I did have with my grandparents. Obviously it's more difficult when the loss is fresh but know the time will come when the past is a travelling companion.
When it comes to family, I always think back to a new report I saw where a man had murdered his mother. The trial was taking place and the father sat behind the son in support for him. The reporter asked the father "How is it that you can sit behind your son and support him knowing he killed your wife?". The father replied, "I will always hate what he did, he took away my best friend and soul mate. That ,however, does not change the fact that he is my son and I love him". That is to me an amazing example of family and the depth of love that can exist there. Do I have family members that drive me crazy? Absolutely, but I love them all regardless of how annoying and hurtful they may be at times.
Having said that we all have to choose for ourselves and maybe the hurt you have experienced from family is just too much. I honestly am not sure I could do what that father did supporting his son in that circumstance. All we can do is make decisions moment by moment and hope they are good ones. We here at Ever After Acres wish all of you a very Merry Christmas from the joyful to the sorrowful and all in between.