We Can Do So Much Better Than “Tolerate” Our Family

Christmas Tree

On Christmas Eve, I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed. For as many posts about the excitement of the season, photos of “Santa’s loot” or something downright adorable a toddler exclaimed, there were – sadly – a number of posts from those who were lonely on Christmas Eve. Lonely. It’s 2013…in a world of always-on connection, could anyone REALLY be lonely?

It blows my mind that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you start to hear little bits of advice designed to help you “tolerate your family” during the holidays.

{Insert that record-scratch-sound here. You know the one.}

Tolerate? Is that the best we can do? Your family? Can’t we all just get along?

While some of us are trying to figure out how to to strangle Aunt Rose, there are those who would kill to have an Aunt Rose to strangle!

Some had lost parents, some lived miles away from family, some just had conflicting schedules this year. Maybe you have crazy in-laws. (I don’t. But yes, they read this blog, why do you ask?) Maybe it’s the brother who drinks too much and shares too much. Or the crazy screeching nephews. Maybe it’s Great Aunt Ethel’s stalking cat. Whatever it is, we have to all agree to put it aside at the holidays.

Now, I will admit to my own brand of eye-rolling (during my ignorant youth period, of course. I’m much more mature now…) when my parents wanted to do “Family Stuff” during the holidays.  Why would I want to waste my time with the people I see every day, when I could spend time with my friends. {Er, the OTHER people I see every day.} But, now that I’m a mom, I get it. Totally, completely, 100% get it.

One of my most favorite parts of Christmas Day has nothing to do with presents at all. It’s being with family. This year, we spent the beginning part of Christmas week with my husband’s family, and then we will host my family during the second half of the week. We do a lot of sitting. And eating. And while it’s sometimes hard on the waistline, we always have the best time. It’s hard having to split time now, but oh so worth it in the end.

Even if you’re dreading being cooped up in the house with a bunch of weirdos that you’re related to…just think, what if you couldn’t? You just might surprise yourself. No matter what it looks like for your family, it’s all good. And good is what Christmas is all about.

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