No Joy Without Forgiveness…

Possum is 6 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 4 months

Little Princess is 1 year 10 months (22 months)


41 days to Christmas


Christmas is coming.  I am not getting excited.

That is quite a statement as I am generally Christmas mad.  For starters, my name is “Natalie” which means “Christmas Child”.  What choice do I have?

But this year, there is something holding me back; a darkness dwelling in my soul;  a sadness.  It may have been there before now, but this year has added to it.

Ignoring is not the same as forgiving.

Ignoring does not take the hurt away.

But when it hurts, it is hard to forgive.

This year, DH and I are hosting the Christmas party for my siblings and offspring.  We may also be hosting a 12th night party for his siblings and offspring (they are still working out who is in what part of the country when.)

My heart is not in it.

Yes, there is a lot of work involved.  I am one of eight.  DH is one of five.  Don’t even get me started on the next two generations.  (Yup, two.  We are great uncle and great aunt on both sides.)  That is a lot of people to organise in this day and age.  (Aside:  I hate the way that instant communications – emails, mobile phones etc – have stopped anyone from making a commitment to anything until the last minute.  No, the last minute is not soon enough to find out.  I want things organised so I don’t keep stressing about them.)  A lot of people when you hate crowds of any size.

But that isn’t it.

It is true that DH and I still battle a bit with our different families.  Our families have different ways of doing some things.  His family is very happy living in each other’s pockets.  For example, they love to all stay in the same house for a week.  We once had 18 people in a three bedroom, two bathroom house.  As I had a 2yo and a 6mo at the time, I found it VERY difficult.  That is how they do things.  No introverts allowed.  (Not great for me!)  My family – well, I am discovering that it is a bit of a skill living with some of our customs, too.

Because of this I dread the whole Christmas/January family thing.  Every year I try to get involved.  I try to get excited.  I try to plan things.  Every year it (or I) end in tears.

But this year is worse.

This year there have been several hurtful events occur throughout the year.  Things that obviously were buried, rather than forgiven.  Things that are coming up again.  Things that make me think I don’t want some of these people to come to my home and join in our celebrations.  These people that have been some of the closest to us throughout our lives.

For example:

“I have so much to do looking after my own kids and grandkids, I can’t cope with your children, too.”  (In response to an invitation for coffee.)

“Our home is not an appropriate place for your children.”  (Which is why I have not been back to that home.  And actually, neither myself nor the kids have been invited back, only DH.)

“Just go away, Bandicoot.  You are not wanted here.”  (By a visitor in our own home.  My rather subdued response to this lead to a lot of discussion behind my back and quite a disagreement with DH.  I still don’t think it was an appropriate way for someone to behave in my, and Bandicoot’s, home, especially when he was just trying to join in.)

So what do I do?  I HURT.  I have tried to put it aside, to keep it from DH and the kids.  I don’t want to spoil their Christmas.  But it is spoiling mine.

To be honest, I don’t want to celebrate with either extended family.  I really don’t.  I just want to have a quiet time with the five of us.  I know that my kids and DH won’t like that, ‘though. 

I also know that it will not bring me peace.  Oh, it might for the day.  Maybe for a few days.  But over time it will still be there, rotting my soul.

How do I forgive?


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