O.K. So as promised here are some emails that YOU have sent concerning how God helped you to find Peace On Earth during the holidays. I have changed everyone's name, but I did ask permission to quote their emails below:
- Sara, 52, says, "Christmas is just one day out of the year, and I have to live with my son and daughter-in-law for another 364 days. I realized that as the older woman I was the one who had to adjust. Our solution is that we have moved Christmas up one day and our family celebrates all day Christmas Eve. Our other children are willing to compromise to be able to be with their brother and his family. The next day, Christmas Day, my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren spend with her parents and siblings. It's just one day. I can compromise."
- The other side of the story is Micki, 32, who says, "I really had no reason to make things so difficult for my mother-in-law. I really resented how much my husband loved his mom. He didn't put her ahead of me and our family but he loved her because she was and still is a great woman of God. Three years ago, I wanted God to mature me and one of the things I noticed almost at once is how mean I was to my mother-in-law a woman who has been nothing but love to me. I asked her and the Lord to forgive me. They both did. Christmas Day is not a power struggle anymore because God has placed love in my heart where resentment used to be. And by the way, my mother-in-law lets me decide where and what we are going to do. It was my heart that was hard."
- Shirley, 61, says, "My whole world is my family. And when they started to leave home, I tried to hold on to them. The holidays seemed so strange when they were not at my house. But eventually, things shifted to my oldest daughter's home. We all gather there now, and nothing seems strange anymore. I would suggest to the older women out there to let go of tradition but hold on to love."
- Merry, 27, says, "This series of blogs about the holidays have been used by the Lord to show me how petty I've been with my mother-in-law. The only day of the year the poor woman - a widow - loves is Christmas, and I have taken that away. I called her yesterday to say that this year we come to her home for the day, and she didn't answer. She was crying. I also asked her to forgive me for being so petty. Last night, when I told my husband what happened between his mom and me, he hugged me and said, "Thanks."
- I won't use up space listing all the other emails I received. Other women have written to say that having "Christmas" on an alternate day is a good solution. Others suggest alternating the holidays between families - Thanksgiving at one family this year and then Christmas next year. Other women-younger women - have reminded me that they want to have their own traditions at their homes... but... suggest that including mothers from both sides is a way to keep love in the picture.
Please feel free to list your solutions below.
Remember that LOVE always finds a way.
Love you all.