I am really looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday. It’s one of my favorite holidays. I love the way it smells, the weather is usually perfect and there’s football to watch. Maybe I’ve idealized the whole thing, but the thought of a day where the whole nation pauses to remember what we’re thankful for is appealing to me. A life of gratitude is a great way to live, so stopping, remembering and giving thanks is a great thing to do.
One of the other things I like about Thanksgiving is that while it smells and feels like Christmas it’s nowhere near as stressful.
I’m not talking about the stress created by trying to reconcile peace on earth and goodwill to all men with rabid consumerism. I’m taking about the stress that comes from memories and unmet expectations. The irony of celebrating Christmas is that there can be a direct relationship between our happiness and our kids sorrow. Our enjoyment of food, family, friends and festivities might not be much fun for them.
Christmas can be difficult for our kids especially our foster kids. It can serve as a reminder to them that they are not with the family that they were born into. We all know there are people in their birth families that they miss because some of them are safe-people for our kids.
Christmas can be a difficult time for our kids because it can be a sad time for them. It is so often a reminder of loss more than it is a reminder of hope. That’s why we have to be hyper-vigilant this time of the year. That’s why our mantra needs to be peace in our homes goodwill to our kids.
I don’t mean to be a downer because Christmas is a time of joy. We just have to remember isn’t a time of joy for everyone. It can be a very difficult time. We need to love and understand instead of try to create memories of happiness that some of our kids just don’t have.
We’re heading to family for lunch on Thanksgiving day this year which means great smelling food and hopefully the Cowboys will give us a win. It also serves as a reminder that Christmas is less than a month away.
This blog post was first published on One Big Happy Home by Ryan North.
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