Why do people spend a fortune in time, money, and tears visiting people who only make them unhappy for a holiday that is reserved for nothing more than celebrating all our blessings. My job puts me in a unique position of being able to observe all these families that proclaim loudly how much they love each other, but the moment you add travel they are at each other’s throats.
I’ve dug into why everyone is so miserable and it usually boils down to one thing. They are traveling to visit family that only makes them miserable because of DUTY. What kind of duty makes us spend time with people who only make us feel bad about ourselves?
CC and I made a pact when we got together that we would not inflict stupid duties on each other like that. Have we done it anyway? Yes. Are we trying to give up the habit. Yes. Why? Because we genuinely like our life and the direction it is headed. Our families do not like, approve, whatever you want to call it. The disapproval comes out as silence and avoided eye contact. It comes out as snide comments. It comes out as out-and-out rude comments and angry condemnation.
Why!? Why would you inflict that on yourself? Why would you inflict that on the spouse and children you claim to love more than anything?
But I love my family too, you say. Do you? Or do you feel an overwhelming need for their approval and acceptance? They’re supposed to love and accept you, that’s what love does. But do they?
Now for the hard question.
Are you accepting of your own children? Are they going to be miserable coming home for the holidays because all you do is nitpick and condemn? Or are you going to change the pattern? Are you going to say I love you and mean it? Are they, their spouses, and their children going to be laughing their way through their holiday travels, giddy to be going HOME to you who will welcome them with open arms and loving acceptance?
Here is my gift to you:
Welcome! Come on in to our warmth and acceptance. Spend your holidays with us. No, you don’t have to buy us presents, but a healthy appreciation for a good joke, kettle popped popcorn, and maybe a glass of good mead would help.