Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas - let's not let it be "stress" in disguise..OK?

The happy times you have grown up to believe about Christmas can bring a lot of stress with it - making the season not so merry & bright.

Case in point. My daughter Brandi and her little family (Hi Johnny & Ella!) live very far from me in miles.

Not in my heart.

For the past couple of years, we have been blessed to have them come to Utah for a Christmas visit.

Last year ended on a scary note when we all got so sick, but we were all strong and we managed to have a wonderful time anyway.

Ella saw Santa again at the Mall and although she has aged a year - Santa really didn't look any different. See....
(must be all the North Pole cold air..) And, she even LIKED him this past year!

So this year, we were looking forward again to "the visit".

However, life happens.

Bills need to be paid.

Airline tickets, much like gas prices, home montages and everyday expenses have skyrocketed.

For the 3 of them to come all the way out is far too cost prohibitive.

And it would be ridiculous to pay those inflated prices.

I don't want the visit to be paid for "at any price".

And that makes me sad.

But what makes me proud is that they, as a young couple, are learning NOT to rely on credit cards.

They will pay for what they can afford at the moment without credit cards eating away their money, their lives.

And at this moment in time, a visit, while it could happen, would induce so much stress and frustration that it may not be as enjoyable as one might have thought.

And nether Randy or I want that for them.

Brandi is afraid of hurting me so she wrote to her Dad to tell him the news. I know she reads my blog, so I am writing here for all to see.

Brandi, it's OK.

Johnny, we are so proud of you and where you are in your career. And what you have done for my daughter and YOUR daughter!

Ella, Grammie loves you and will start sending your video clips of us as soon as Papa and I figure out exactly that works. So you will see me and hear me.

And you'll know that I love you. And that Papa loves you too. I may even get Braxton & Lulu to bark "hello" to you!

Christmas is a magical time. It's in your heart as much as it is in the "real world". We can be together in thoughts, calls and videos and dreams.

I know it's not the same and I know you are sad, but we'll see you all and when the time is right, it will be PERFECT!

So, don't be sad - be proud that you are strong enough to make this difficult decision.

I love you all three..

PS - rumor has it Santa WILL come to New Jersey after all........


BonnieRose said...

BEAUTIFUL post.. my friend.. just beautiful.

madrekarin said...

That is just the sweetest post, Colleen. I have been catching up on your blog. The bike story made me laugh, your perfect Pay It Forward post (yours will be on its way this week). I have to tell you that I actually love "falling back" for Daylight Saving Time. I wish it would stay like this always! :) I love getting up in the morning, looking out and seeing lights snapping on in all the houses. And at night, the coziness that the darkness brings with it is like a big blanket. Time to hunker down for the night.
But, just as soon as you get used to this schedule, they will change it again, and throw us all off. It needs to just stay the way it is. One way or the other!!

Heather said...

Those are such cute photos i love seeing the difference in her but not in santa or his chair or the set! It is sad that they are not going but great that they know when to say no!

Brandi said...

Thanks for the sweet post, mom. I knew how much it would break your heart, and I didn't have the courage to tell you, that's why I wrote dad. I am sorry, we both feel just awful. We thought Johnny would have his loooong overdue promotion by now, and words can't describe just how mad I am about that. I am struggling with life right now, and was so looking forward to Christmas. Now, not so much. I'm sorry :(

Senior Bowler said...

I love your post. We to have children that are away and will not see for Christmas. They are in Nevada and we are in South Alabama. I know Sanata will be in Nevada but unfortunately MiMi and Paw Paw will notnm

The Tattered Nest said...

what a great post...Even though you may be apart for Christmas, you are blessed to be so close in each others hearts!

Karen and Chris said...

As co-authors of Save Our Sanity: The Christmas Calm Manual, your suggestions align very much with our own tips.
Our readers have also found it useful to take the earlier step that our book includes. We help frazzled parents (women especially) to look at their perspectives, attitudes and expectations, identify what's not working and take action to make their own Christmas as joyous as it is for their loved ones!
Your readers may be interested in getting our Tips for Christmas Calm at our site