Christmas Forgiveness

This time last year I was having a conversation with my husband about my family. “You know? Sometimes I think I would be fine if I just cut contact with some of them.” Of course I didn’t mean it, but I was frustrated. Each year I host our family Christmas and each year, it felt like it was becoming less and less important for people to be here. My brother, Larry, in particular was notorious for never letting me know ahead of time if his family would come, making it difficult for me to plan the amount of food we would need.

I mostly got over my fit in time for our family gathering. We had a great time… Just Dance Competitions, rousing games of Apples to Apples and just hanging out. My brother and his family did show up. I was still feeling annoyed with him though, so I don’t really remember hanging out with him much. I hung out with his kids, but I honestly can’t remember having much interaction with him at all that day.

No one in our family was ill last Christmas. Everyone was healthy and there was no reason for me to believe that things would be any different the next time we all got together. Little did I know that in June 2011 my brother would be diagnosed with cancer and two months later, he would die. I had no idea our next family gathering would be his funeral.

What I wouldn’t give to replay last Christmas… to appreciate the family I have for everything they are. To love them unconditionally and to get over my bratty self and to savor their presence, announced or not, at our family gathering.

Think about your family this Christmas. What would you do differently if you knew someone you loved wasn’t going to be there next year? Is there someone you need to forgive and embrace for who they are? The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is the gift of family, love and forgiveness. Appreciate the people God has placed in your life, for everything they are, because you never know when it may be your last chance to show them your love.

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  1. says

    This is something that’s hard to understand before something tragic happens. I am sorry you and your family had to experience so much this year. I hope and pray that 2012 is healing for you all and this Christmas you remeber the good and also remeber that the should ofs are all forgiven.

  2. Dawn says

    This us too true! Sadly my Mom passed away this past March after a 5 year battle with lung cancer. The last Christmas was hard. And I did a lot of tongue biting with a lot of encouragement from my husband. Thankfully I did because I’d give anything to have her back this year!

  3. says

    Beautiful post, Kristen. I so wish I could take back all of my snotty teenage years. When my mom died, I regretted that so much. (Which I make sure to tell MY almost-13-year-old now.} 😉

    Wishing you a merry Christmas…full of your happy memories…and lots of new ones.

  4. Deb Maurer says

    Please forgive me. I was concentrating on his immediate family (wife and children) and I did not take into consideration your feelings. I am so sorry for your loss. So sorry I did not say this sooner.

  5. says

    First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

  6. BridgetSoup says

    Thank you for this post. I shared it with my facebook and twitter people because it’s something that we need to think about more. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the goings on. Very well said though, and I’m sorry about your brother.

  7. says

    I am on the other side right now – suffering a relapse of a congenital condition which affects digestion – can’t eat and am on nutritional support. Not sure how much time I have because theres no real cure for this rare condition. I have always treasured time with family and friends so have no regrets.
    But am now battling with Dad to stop focusing on my illness and try to spend more time enjoying the time I have now instead of trying to find a solution which doesn’t exist.

  8. says

    I didn’t expect this post. My best friend lost her brother two days ago. It was a long illness, the same way I lost my brother. We knew and we had to time to prepare and repair anything, but it surely taught me. I’m so sorry for you loss. You seem like a good famly. I came here from your daughter and daddy date post and it was heart warming to see that tradition. Merry Christmas to you.

  9. Kelsey says

    Good post. Very relevant and true.
    I am thankful that I got to spend some quality time with my step-father-in-law before he passed. We were able to have a family Thanksgiving, and had hoped to have one last Christmas with him, however the Amyloidosis took him from us the morning of the 8th (exactly 2 weeks ago today). Christmas won’t be the same without his wonderful smile and twinkling eyes, his internal joy and peace. However, we do have the happy memories of a Thanksgiving spent focusing on family and love for one another. God bless his soul, and God bless your brother’s soul as well. Christmas won’t be easy, and though I don’t know you, I am very sorry and saddened to hear about your loss.

  10. Sam says

    That was so stirring in my soul! I have such a hard time during the Holidays, I wish I could be better, this certainly is making me think…Thank you for sharing.


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