This is a difficult time of year for many, and my family is no exception.
A time of year
that should be filled with peace, love and joy instead brings feelings of
anguish, despair and loneliness to some. Family dysfunction is elevated to
exponential highs. Some overindulge, over imbibe, or overcompensate as a
My family certainly isn’t immune from dysfunction, and we’ve managed our varying “toxicity” levels in different ways. Some withdraw … sometimes for
years. Some over imbibe to make situations more tolerable, or perhaps to
achieve numbness to a situation. Some overcompensate and buy goofy gifts for
everyone to lighten the mood. Some can’t handle the merriment and lock
themselves in their rooms to avoid the gaiety. Some write.
If your family is in need of a special nod this time of
year, here is my wish for you:
I wish you a large, dysfunctional family. Some people have no
family to belong to.
I wish you a noisy house full of family argument, kitchen
commands, and shrieking children opening gifts. Some people have no one to make
any noise in their lives.
I wish you indigestion after a big meal. Some people will be
I wish you the hassle of dealing with a nasty cold. Some
people live with painful chronic diseases for years with no relief.
I wish you a big mess to clean up in your house after
everyone leaves. Some people have no house, no room, no bed.
I wish you political incompatibility and debate over past, present and future candidates. Some people can’t imagine being able to have any kind of political choice.
I wish you heated arguments over ridiculous things. Some
people no longer feel passionate enough to care about anything.
I wish you annoyingly long lines at the airport on the way to your vacation. Some people can’t
imagine having the money, time, or freedom to go anywhere.
I wish you a wrestling match with a stranger over a
last-minute toy on Christmas Eve. Some people have no children, no money for
toys, and no Christmas Eve!
Why would I wish things like this for you during this joyful
season, or at any time?
Because only when you have known hunger will you taste the
sweetness that life has to offer.
Because only when you have known illness will you appreciate
Because only when you have known strife will you appreciate
Because only when you have known loneliness will you know
what a full heart feels like.
Because some people just don’t appreciate anything until they end up with nothing.
So I hope you have the chance to appreciate peace, a full
heart, and the sweetness of the season.
That’s my Christmas wish for you, and my own dysfunctional family.