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Dear Parent, If You Struggle to Find the Holiday Cheer, Read This

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There are so many grand expectations for the holidays, yet sometimes it feels as if the holiday cheer has gone missing, doesn’t it? How do you participate in the merry and glad when you’re just trying to make it through the season? You wish for the “normal” days to hurry up and come back. Perhaps you’ve called yourself a Grinch. But you’re not — you’re probably exhausted, trying to hold it together for everyone, trying to make this a pleasant time for all the people you feel depend on you.

Perhaps you have a child sick in the hospital. Perhaps you have a child who needs and thrives on a routine which is now disrupted by the holiday cheer. Perhaps you have a child who is easily overwhelmed by a season which brings with it parties and music and lights.

Too much. Too fast. Too loud.

Friend, take a deep breath. This is not what this time of year is about.

Your moment of peace can happen in the silent night.

When everyone is sleeping — even if only for a little while — dim the lights, stoke a fire, breathe in, light a candle.

Breathe in the stillness, the soft glow of the light.

And no matter how messy or hard life has felt lately, know that many of us understand; we’ve been there. Let that thought be a reminder you are not alone. We understand the pain, the struggles, the heartaches.

Life is messy. And it’s beautiful. A patchwork of pain, loss, grief, joy, love, excitement and everything in between.

So in the midst of the loss and pain and stress — focus on the good and the joy. Because there is so much to be thankful for when we stop to count our blessings. Practicing gratefulness is good for the soul.

Remember, light comes after darkness.

Most of all, remember you matter. You are doing a good job with your kids. Your resilience and determination do not go unnoticed. The little things you do indeed matter a big deal. And when you keep going, even when you feel exhausted, it’s a testimony of the beautiful person you are. The person who loves and gives fully out of that love.

So, let your heart be light.

Sometimes a silent night turns out to be the best one of all.

Getty image by vladans

Originally published: December 11, 2018
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