After reading Bells post about how difficult Christmas can be, I have been thinking how lucky I am to have the family I have. And I wanted to share this heartwarming story. Get out the tissues, this is a tear jerker.

When my PK and I got married, my dad didn't attend the ceremony. ( He didn't want me to marry PK. I have never been sure why and he wouldn't tell me. ) Nor did he visit us in our home (well, once in 26 years and then for half an hour). When we came to his home, he would find something to do to occupy himself in another part of the house. This went on for years. I would take the girls to my parents' house on Christmas morning for a short visit (my dad was usually "busy"). PK would stay home because he felt unwelcome. After a few years of this, I decided I didn't want to go to their house if my whole family was not welcome so I stopped. I continued to have somewhat of a relationship with my parents but it grew less and less as the years went by. We continued to have our Christmas morning at our house and my beloved aunt joan came for the day. My girls think of her as their grandmother.

Fast forward to the present. We have continued to have our quiet, cocooned Christmas morning filled with presents, hot chocolate and babka. I like to think that the girls don't feel the loss. They tell me they don't. All of this is to say that PK and I have made our own holiday traditions and as the girls came along, we have added new ones. We have never had to worry about people wanting us to be at their house for the holiday. In the early years, it felt a little lonely being just the two of us but we made our holidays our own. We have tried very hard to help the girls find the joy in the holiday and the togetherness of it all. I am hoping that as they move on with their lives, they will come home with their children and we will have a new generation where everyone respects everyone and allows them their choices.

Now, the heartwarming part. A few years ago, PK was laid off from his job. As Christmas approached, we knew we were going to have a very lean holiday. I was working two jobs and he was working at whatever he could find. He works in computers and at that time, jobs were scarce. We decided we would take whatever we got paid one week in Dec and spend it on the girls for Christmas. When we told them this, they were adamant. Whatever money there was should be split FIVE ways, not three. "We are a family." So, for the first and only year, we had a family pollyanna. I devided the money and we each shopped for each other. It was one of the most memorable holidays we have had. Everyone pitched in and it was as wonderful as any holiday we have ever had. I was so proud of my girls that year. They showed generosity of spirit.

So, yes. I enjoy Christmas and look forward to it every year. It's not the presents, although they are fun, it's knowing that these are the people around whom my world revolves. And I am so lucky that I get to share it with them.

Comments

Bells said…
Oh my goodness, what an astoundingly beautiful story. Tear jerker indeed. I think yours is a lovely, wonderful family.

On the issue of your dad, I am about to make a similar decision for similar reasons - if we both can't go, no one (ie me) goes. It's a big one, isn't it? hearing others make such decisions gives me strength.
Rose Red said…
That's so sad about your dad - I'm not sure why people are like that, because I think they only end up hurting themselves. I'm glad you have made your own family traditions - sometimes I wish I could get my husband to do the same, not that I have any problem with his family (or vice versa) - I just think it would be nice to have Christmas (or part of it) in our own home from time to time.
Bezzie said…
I don't understand why people go to their parents'/in-laws' for holidays. But I think that's my isolationist upbringing. To me, family means the man I married and anything that became of it (cats, kids, etc.).

Great story!
KSD said…
Wonderful. You'll never have a Christmas that isn't richly blessed.
Dianne said…
Such a shame for your dad that he can't see how happy you are with your wonderful husband and beautiful girls. You made the right decision, though. If any one person in your family is not welcome somewhere, noone should go. Your family is everything. I hope that your father will someday realize what he is missing out on and come to his senses.
Michele said…
yes, love is where you find it, family is what you make it. you and your husband have made such a beautiful family.

and 5 stars for standing by your man - i see a lot of couples who won't do this for each other when it comes to in-law approval.
Amy Lane said…
That was really wonderful (the part about your family celebrations)--and it sounds sooooo peaceful. I think your family is lovely, and of course the fact that you and Em keep saying nice things to me doesn't disabuse me of that notion in the least:-)
Sheepish Annie said…
Wow. You did an amazing job with those girls. Just amazing! Kids will surprise you, sometimes that's for sure. And mostly in good ways!

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