Sunday, December 17, 2006


When I was growing up Christmas was always sort of a bittersweet time of year for me. That is, after my parents were divorced it turned into a difficult time. I can remember the painful task of trying to decide who I should spend the holidays with. If I went to my Dad's for Thanksgiving, I had to miss out on Thanksgiving with my Mom, Sister and Grandparents. If I chose to spend Christmas with my Mom, I had to miss out on Christmas with my Dad, his girlfriend, her daughter and other family, which I also considered to be part of my family. I always felt that I was never going to win, no matter what I decided. Regardless of who I decided to spend which holiday with, there was always someone being left out. No matter how hard I tried, there were always going to be hurt feelings. It was a very difficult and painful thing for a child to go through. I hated it and subsequently I came to despise the holiday season. I wasn't like most kids who looked forward to the time off from school, the time spent with family. I remember spending more than one Christmas surrounded by family and friends but feeling like I was all alone. It never mattered where I chose to be that year, I was always homesick for the "other family."

Fast forward to 1999. That is the year my whole life changed and, in many ways, I finally became an adult. I was 23, a week shy of my 24th birthday, when I married my sweetheart. Brent was, and still is, one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. He is truly a miracle in my life. Finally, for the first time, I was free. I was free of the decisions I was forced to make as a little girl. I was free of the pain and suffering I had to go through and all the sadness and disappointment I experienced. What an amazing feeling! Brent has changed my life in ways I could never begin to describe.

Now we have the typical married decisions when it comes to the holidays. Should we go to your Mom's or my sister's? Should we just stay home and start our own traditions? This is what we have done most years and I love it! I am no longer afraid of really celebrating the holidays. I don't dread the inevitable decision of whose feelings to hurt. I do miss spending the holidays with my family and I also miss being with Brent's family. But, we now have our little family and that's all that matters. What a blessing it is to have my amazing husband and our beautiful children. Now instead of focusing on the pain and sadness that the holidays used to bring, I can enjoy the excitement of the season. I hope and pray that I will always be able to keep that excitement alive for my kids and they will never have to face those difficult decisions that I did.

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