“I don’t want to go to the Christmas family reunion, Ms. Ortega,” Julia told me in my counseling office. Her hands trembled as she spoke and unbuttoned her sweater.
“What makes you say that?” I asked as I looked into her blue eyes.
“My mom and dad will argue most of the day. My aunt Mary won’t speak to my aunt Dorothy, and each will act as if the other one isn’t there.”
Julia’s facial muscles tightened as she discussed the family dynamics. I waited to hear what else she might say.
“That’s only half of the story.” Julia sat in silence for a minute and stared out the window. “My sister expects everyone to do what she wants, or she will get angry, curse, and cut them out of her life. My uncle Charlie will get drunk and misbehave.”
In my experience as a counselor, I’ve heard similar stories. Perhaps you feel like Julia and don’t want to go to your Christmas family reunion either.
You can write a list of the pros and cons of attending and then decide. You can consider other ways to spend Christmas day.
If your family members want to know why you won’t attend the family reunion, tell them you want a peaceful Christmas or have other plans.
You can invite good friends and neighbors to your home for a peaceful Christmas dinner.
Psalm 34:14b: “Seek peace and pursue it.”
Dear God, I want Christmas to be peaceful not hostile. Amen.
Application: What will you do this week to “seek peace and pursue it”?
Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega December 15, 2014