Christmas, holidays & family

The past 4 days have been public holidays and sadly, I am returning to work tomorrow, while most of the population (in New Zealand) enjoys their summer holidays. We have had the most awesome weather – it has been ‘absolute summer’ this Christmas/holiday period – fine blue skies and summer heat. Beautiful days.

I have had the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of helping with a Christmas lunch for the poor and needy ( – these days referred to as the lonely and those who can’t afford to have a Christmas dinner). We (hubby and I) worked really hard for a number of hours but it was SO rewarding. I got to meet and work with some great people, and we served Christmas lunch to about 250 people. By the end of the day my husband and I were sore and tired – and that’s ok. It was a good reason to be tired. It was a good feeling, like we’d really contributed to something bigger than just ‘us’ and contributed something positive to others in our community.

The next two days were spent resting and relaxing [thus my posts about taking time to breathe, and in so doing, to relax.]  Today we hosted a family bar-b-que at our house. As some of you may know, I sometimes feel quite conflicted when it comes to family and have some issues around trust, and the feeling of being judged etc – but we try to invite family over a few days after Christmas for those who are nearby and haven’t gone away on holiday. Normally I get a bit stressed in the build up to people arriving – I want the food to be sorted, everything laid out nicely (outside but in the shade), and the house to be tidy.

This is not the only time I see family but one of the regular events that I participate in (principally because I’m hosting it) and it’s a good time to catch up with everyone. As we have grown older, family ends up being several of my brothers and their wives, some of their grown kids and their partners, and now some of their grandchildren as well (which is quite delightful!)

These past few months I’ve been trying to learn to take things as they come, take time to breathe, and to look at the big picture (ie, does this little thing really matter in the big scheme of life?).  So today instead of stressing, I worked hard getting ready, and making sure my guests were looked after but I didn’t get so uptight about cleaning the house and making sure everything was perfect.  I didn’t spend time worrying internally about who may or may not have been judging me or what they were thinking, or what they thought of my not particularly tidy house, or my housekeeping. I just let go.

Perhaps I didn’t spend a great deal of time just sitting chatting to my family (in fact I know I didn’t), but I did enjoy the day and the atmosphere; I enjoyed that my family didn’t really have to do anything, – they could just enjoy being here and being with each other. And I particularly enjoyed the presence of the children. Five children between the ages of 5 months and 6 years – the children seemed to enjoy themselves, and each other, and they were LOVELY!

So while I might have some unresolved family issues that tap into my history; I made an effort with my family (by having them over) and I enjoyed it!  And I didn’t overly stress and I was pleased we’d all been able to get together.

I am quick to judge my own character flaws and inconsistencies, my lack of confidence and lack of wisdom – and all the negative stuff I perceive in and of myself. But right now it seems appropriate to acknowledge the good things, the positive steps, to just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

So I think it’s time to take a moment to relax. And breathe. And enjoy.

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14 thoughts on “Christmas, holidays & family

  1. Your post echoed some of my concerns when dealing with family and friends. It made me feel as though we were on the same wavelength. Thank you!
    Enjoy your warm weather…it is cold & rainy in Portland. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – as you know I so appreciate a sense of connectedness -so thank you for sharing that we are on the same wavelength – I appreciate that. It’s beautiful and sunny here but I am back at work while most of the country enjoys the holiday season – never mind. Still enjoying the fact that summer has come. Happy New Year to you too – I wish you all the Best 🙂

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  2. Isn’t it amazing how family causes so much anxiety; and it seem to be a universal experience. You were so happy and relaxed with serving the needy, yet the idea of saving your family churns up so many different emotions. I am the same way. It is an interesting thing. It sounds like you are on your way to resolving the conundrum though. Hope you will post tomorrow at the Senior Salon. Always enjoy reading you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Sounds like an awesome way to spend Christmas! We would also go feed the hungry during this time of year in my youth group. It is definitely much more rewarding than people know! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I understand what you mean when you say you feel judged. I always get that from my Mothers side of the family. My Fathers side of the family has always been very welcoming and loving, But my Mothers is an entirely different story. I know in my head that I am not less than anyone but that little twinge is there all the same. So yes I have issues as well. Good luck with yours and have a fabulous New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Christmas can be filled with such stressors…just when we expect (and even need) a season of peace. I used to struggle with that a lot and it took me a long time to let it go and not think I had to live being judged by unrealistic expectations. But it sounds as if you found a great way to bring some balance to all of it, fulfilling a dream, serving the needy, finding a few days to rest and regroup and then having your family with you on your own terms, with the bonus of enjoying the kids. I hope in this year to come you can let go of those “internal” judges, keep breathing in peace, and live life with freedom and energy. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that. Until you spelt it out I hadn’t seen the balance in my activities -fulfilling a dream, few days of rest, then having the family over on my terms – it seems so obvious now that you’ve said it!!! Wow – good effort on my part! This is one of the reasons I need to blog. There’s so much I don’t see until I write it down or have kind people like you reflect back what I’ve done. Thank you. Your comment was really helpful. Please feel free to comment anytime. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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