Doug Creamer: Family
The holiday season is officially upon us. Retailers have been pushing the holiday season for a couple of months, but I always try to hold off until it actually arrives. This year as I drove to my in-law’s for Thanksgiving I noticed that some people had their Christmas decorations up. When I drove down our street coming home from Thanksgiving I noticed almost all our neighbors had Christmas decorations up, both inside and out.
I have to admit that it is hard to sit here and write this column as I want to be outside getting my Christmas decorations up. I am going to have to work on getting some of the leaves up before I put the decorations out. I am excited to get started decorating for Christmas.
At this point, I have already helped decorate two Christmas trees. I helped my brother and sister decorate my mom’s tree, and then while I was home for Thanksgiving helped my in-laws get their tree up and decorated. It’s nice to be able to help family get ready for the holidays.
I like spending time with my family. Both of my parents have birthdays in November so we were able to gather around them and celebrate their special days. We shared meals and lots of laughs. We talked about growing up and the special times we shared as a family. It is good to see and hear how my family members are doing.
We spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws. My father-in-law and I peeled over five pounds of potatoes, and I am not sure how many pounds of sweet potatoes. There were multiple meats to choose from, as well as five different desserts. I ate plenty of great food and got the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife’s side of the family. I had some very interesting conversations and washed plenty of dishes.
Many people travel long distances to be together for the holidays. We have traveled and we have stayed at home. Both have their perks. In today’s world with blended families, husband’s family here and wife’s family there, it’s almost impossible to be at every family gathering.
I think that it is important to make the effort to be together, but why does it have to be on ONLY one specific day? Can’t we celebrate Christmas anytime we can get the family together in one place at one time? That way there is no rushing and possibly a much more relaxed atmosphere. We can visit and connect without feeling pulled in multiple directions.
I believe it’s important to find a way to be together at some point during the holiday season. With families separated by long distances, it might be physically impossible to make the trip. That’s when we can use the power of our global communication systems to make it possible. Whether it is Facetime or through another virtual app, we can find a way to gather and spend some special moments together.
There is no perfect “Brady” family on earth. We are all imperfect people trying to connect with each other and create memories that will last a lifetime. Some memories are tender and sweet, while others make us laugh until we hurt. We try to put our best foot forward, without tripping over it, and share the love we have for each other. We know the flaws but hope that we can look past them and share the love of the season.
I believe God does that with each of us. We’re not perfect, yet he welcomes us into His family. He knows our weaknesses and flaws, and yet His grace covers over it all. He knows how many times we have doubted and almost given up, yet His love pours out for us. He knows how often we feel inconvenienced by Him, yet He still wants to spend time with us. He pursues us relentlessly because we are His children and He wants to have a relationship with us.
I want to encourage you this holiday season to connect with loved ones. I know it is hard to express your love and appreciation, but take the risk and open your heart. Sometimes it won’t go well, but try. Give your pain to God. God revealed how much He loved us by sending His Son to be born in a manger, yet destined to die on a cross. He still loves us no matter what we have done. We are His children and He wants us all around Him. So in spite of everything, make the effort to connect, to love, and to be loved during this holiday season.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org