Dear Family, Why Do the Holidays Have to Be SO HARD?


family during holidays

Dear Family,

Every year, as October is coming to an end and we embark on the lovely month of November, I begin to feel it. An uneasiness at first, followed by uncertainty. There are way too many what-if’s, which turns into anxiety, stress, and finally a prayer that January would come quickly. And this, dear family, has little to do with the busyness of the holidays. It has little to do with the gift-buying, food prepping, grocery shopping, coordinating and planning… it has everything to do with you.

So I just need to ask… why do the holidays have to be so hard for us?

I know that every family has its issues. When you place any group of people together; all with differing opinions and personalities, you’re bound to have tension. Then tell those same people that they are stuck in this group titled ‘family’ for the rest of their lives, and yeah, it can get ugly at times.

But for whatever reason, the holidays exacerbate our issues. Instead of bringing out the best in us, they unfortunately tend to bring out our worst. Instead of being an opportunity to show love and selflessness, selfishness becomes forefront as each person tries to have their opinion heard and ‘win’ every argument.

And frankly, this year, I’m flat out sick of it.

I’m tired of trying to make everyone happy. I’m tired of planning different events because certain people can’t be in the same room together. Mom and Dad, it’s not our fault you decided to get divorced. And I’ve spent most of my life catering to your every insecurity so that you didn’t have to see one another or interact at all. But now that I have kids, you both have the same grandkids, and you two need to learn how to be cordial. Be adults. Suck up your pride. Co-exist, and be the loving grandparents my children so desperately need.

Also, Family, the passive-aggressive behaviors seriously need to end. No more silent treatment. No more he said, she said. If you have a problem with another family member, how about picking up the phone and talking to them about it? I feel like sometimes we treat our co-workers better than our own family… and that’s just craziness! Be respectful. Be kind. Be gracious. Be loving and merciful. And when someone apologizes, forgive. And forgive. And forgive.

This life is WAY TOO SHORT for me to sit by and let our family crumble to pieces. Because you know what? We are worth fighting for. YOU are worth fighting for. And I can promise you that I will do whatever it takes for us to start on a pathway to healing and reconciliation. 

Let’s make this year different. I promise to do my part. I promise to start the conversation, go to counseling, listen to your hurts, and love you through it all. I know that God put us all together for a reason… and I no it was no accident that we are in this ‘family’ together.

With all my love,