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If the holidays make your heart ache, you aren't alone

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My 5-year-old just brought me a picture of the sisters she never met. She reminded me that Alex had brown hair and she was happy to see Santa, but Emma had blonde hair and she was not happy to see Santa, which is silly because Santa brings presents.

Christmas is coming, you guys, and that deep ache for my oldest daughters is creeping in on me. It’s been years since we bundled them up, tucked them in a stroller, and pushed them through a winter wonderland of Christmas lights. It’s been years since Emma pulled the tree down and shattered half the ornaments before sheepishly looking up at me from ground zero. It’s been years since I dressed Alex in her pretty new Christmas dress and took her to see The Nutcracker where she cried at intermission because she loved it so much that she didn’t want it to be over yet. It’s been years. But man we had some good years.

As more and more people are claiming their Christmas joy a few weeks early this year, I just want to say this.

Grab that joy and squeeze every last drop of goodness from it. If it brings you joy and you’re sharing moments with people you love and making magic with your children and watching Christmas movies while tree lights twinkle in the corner and it makes you feel good- Do It. Do It. Do It. No, it’s not too early to wrap gifts. Yes, you should definitely put up a second tree. Do It.

I’ve been there and I’m not sorry. But the truth is that this year, I’m just not there yet. I have a million and one things to be happy about and I am totally happy about all those things and I’ve got a joy that goes deeper than decor. But I’m also sad and I need a little time to get in the Christmas spirit. So I’m dropping in to say...

If the holidays make your heart ache- you aren’t alone.

If you want to want to do all the glittery, sparkly, and twinkly things, but you just can’t get there yet- you aren’t alone.

If you need to dip your toe in instead of jumping in the deep end- you aren’t alone.

You aren’t a Scrooge. You can take your time. Christmas isn’t a contest. Do what you need to do, even if what you need seems to be different than what everyone else needs. And when it feels like you’re the only one who just can’t quite yet, remember that you aren’t alone.

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Follow Mandy McCarty Harris, Writer for more stories of living happily in the awkward middle of life, love, and parenting.

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