"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Re-framing the Holidays

If you have read my blog over the years, you will know that since my separation and divorce six years ago, the holidays have been a bit fraught for me.  Geez, it’s hard to believe that my divorce was six years ago.  Wow, that’s a post for my Emancipation Day in April!

Anyway, back to the holidays.  Since I don’t have a strong family connection with my dad or my brother (I haven’t spoken to that Sack of Shit for years), the only family I am close to are my kids.  I don’t want to lean on them for every single holiday, so I need to re-frame what the holidays mean to me.

When my kids were growing up, the holidays were always about family.  My then-husband, the kids, the in-laws and extended family.  My Ex is one of 4 kids in a close-knit family.  We all lived close to one another for years.  The in-laws and extended family were close by also.  My kids grew up in a nurturing environment — just as I always wanted.

Once I divorced my husband, those family members are gone.  They included me very sporadically and reluctantly on a few occasions, but I knew not to depend upon them.  I realize that I have not released my married life view of the holidays being about family.  I need to do that.

I want to re-frame the holidays.  It is time because I will continue to be petulant about them until I can let go of my old ways.  Here is how I want to think about the holidays going forward:

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and reflective of all that I have.  As long as it involves turkey, I am fine.  It does not matter who or where I spend it (provided that there is turkey and pie). I have many things and people to be thankful for, so I will take the time to do so (with some stuffing and sweet potato casserole, please).  I want to channel peace, reflection and gratitude on Thanksgiving. Leftovers would be a bonus.

Christmas is going to be a time of pleasure and relaxation.  This year it will be spent with family, so I have to add in love and adventure since I will be visiting them.  Christmas is no longer tied to gifts.  I am not exchanging gifts with any of my loved ones this year.  That’s a first.  I am, however, sending my daughter a box of heirloom Christmas ornaments for her to use and keep. She is thrilled and excited to have them on her tree for this holiday. I am saving some for my son as well.

Christmas will be about being spiritual and appreciating the positivity in all of us. I love Christmas carols, the decorations, so I want to make sure I enjoy that.  It will also be about preparing for new beginnings which brings us to New Year’s.

New Year’s is all the cliches of new beginnings.  Out with the old and in with the new.  It’s the classic reset button.  New Year’s is about forgiving myself for past failed attempts and having the courage and optimism to start again.

It is quite easy to type these bold words and declaration of re-framing.  Now let’s see if I can truly take them to heart.  Can I stop my old, tired thinking and create a new reality of the holidays for myself?  I like to think “yes”.  I need to think about how I can create a small vision board that reminds me of these new holiday perceptions.


Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash


Comments on: "Re-framing the Holidays" (5)

  1. One thing I found once my husband left and my kids were all living elsewhere was that it was incredibly nice to be able to enjoy holidays with friends. Some very good friends have an annual Thanksgiving get-together at their house with the most interesting people and food! I always am a bit resentful if I have to miss it now. My daughter invited me to her house for Thanksgiving this year, which was also a treat — but not something I’d want to do every year. Holidays are not nearly as important to me as they used to be — I’ll get the Christmas decorations up eventually (because I love them) and I get to leave them up until the end of January, because that’s when my kids all come home for “Fauxmas” (we also celebrate “Fakesgiving” every couple of years – I hate the fact that airlines jack up their rates during the holidays, so we have our holidays when it suits us and our budgets!). But on actual Christmas day, I’m going to be in my pajamas, reading a good book and drinking hot cocoa and not worrying about family drama, chronic illnesses, fighting grandchildren, or pleasing others – and I’m just going to focus on pleasing myself. It’s a wonderful life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know exactly how you feel been there, I have moved on, I’m spending Xmas on my own well with my dog, I intend to make the most of it, making dinner opening presents, might even dress up it’s all about making it perfect for you, do what you feel like and all will be well

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful! I am discovering more and more people who eschew the traditional Hallmark Christmas society norms try to cram down our throats. This year I have spent far less and enjoyed the run up of the holidays far more. May you have a warm, peaceful day.


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