So you are faced with a holiday that bids you home. Home to good old Mom and Dad who haven’t spoken in 27 years, home to Uncle John, who is an alcoholic, home to your cousin who never gains an ounce no matter what she eats and home to your sister who resents that you are not looking out after good old Mom and Dad. Cheers! We all face imperfection in the holidays, the expectation and hope that someone, something will change. Home should be the safe haven, the refuge from the storm, endless encouragements and sacred love. But if it wasn’t before Thanksgiving, why would we expect it to be now, in the midst of insecurities will will forever linger?
I don’t have a model family. It could very well be that they don’t think I am flawless, either! So I have decided to change. This year, as I embark on my trip to Maryland where all my children and their children will gather, I am thrilled! It hasn’t happened in a long time. I don’t care about presents. I don’t care about responsibilities. I care about my children and grandchildren and I intend on being a peacemaker this year (revolutionary thought). What they want to do, I will do. What they want to eat, that’s fine with me. I will even do the dishes! I just want everyone happy. I just want the memory of one Christmas where no one gets angry or hurt. I just want everyone to feel loved. I can handle it all. You see, I have my balance! That is the core of my book, “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower”. If you have your balance the adversities of life won’t strangle you; Balance will lift you up and strengthen you. That is such an important lesson to learn.
This year I won’t be in Paris. That is OK with me. My children will be my The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and St. Chappel Chapel. My grandchildren will be my Giverney, Versailles and Chartres. They will be my sparkling gems. We make choices to be joyful (or not) regardless of our circumstances. This year, because I have my balance, I am happy. There will be lots of kisses and hugs to go around. This holiday, just a few days after the Connecticut killings (where so many are now denied the privilege of hugging their little ones), we are well-reminded that there is nothing – even with all our their imperfections – like family.
Photos: In Paris, some of the upscale shopping areas near St. Madeleine decorate with red trees and black ornaments. I prefer Gallerie Lafayette with their beautiful tree and fanciful, decorated windows.