Christmas blues…

Welcome dear friend, today I have a particularly delicious tea & treat ready to share with you…

The tea blend is called Turkish delight, a black tea flavored with Rose petals & vanilla.

Our treat is a gf fruit mince shortbread bite. Both unusually morish & the combination of the two work beautifully together.

At this time of the year we hear the following lyrics being played over & over through audio systems in shopping centers & malls;

T’is the season to be jolly, tra la la la, la la la”…

But feeling jolly isn’t always the reality for many in this season…as a Clinical Counselor, this is always the busiest time of the year.

And sadly the season that has the biggest suicide rate! Why?

Advertising, constantly portrays large happy families gathered together around a feast with a huge Christmas tree in the background laden with decorations & mountains of gifts placed under it.

Where everyone is getting on with each other, happy, smiling, laughing, caring & co operative & seemingly wealthy.

There is love & stability in these portrayals.  

However for many people around the world this is not their reality with family!

No matter how hard they may have tried over the years to make it so.

Families can be complicated entities…

Whatever the culture, size, shape or mix.

Whether large, small, close or distant in locality or relationship, nuclear, combined, separated by choice or by circumstances they are all made up of different personalities with a shared history.

That history may not have always been a positive or happy one!

And it may be very painful for some & overwhelming for others to be with family at this time of the year!

Idealized Christmas celebration scenes can trigger painful memories, hurts or unresolved issues that significant others within the family may not even acknowledge or recognize!

Add a little festive alcohol (although the following can happen without alcohol) & old rivalries, hurts, rejections, judgements, frustrations, jealousies or personality clashes can quickly simmer & bubble to the surface.

This quite often leads to disastrous encounters reinforcing the negative family experience.

What do we do in this season that may be full of heartache & sadness?

Having been a family Therapist for many decades, now retired although professionally current.

I realize that there is no such thing as a perfect family on this earth as portrayed in the media, they simply do not exist!

All families are made up of imperfect people living imperfect lives!

Family groups consist of individual members who have differing lifestyles, beliefs, temperaments & opinions to each other.

Each family group has a momentum uniquely their own & whether negative, positive or a mixture of both, family members share that history, giving each member their unique experience of the family.

We are but visiting members to some family groups & life members of others but the shared experience remains!

woman working girl sitting

My advice…

Glean wisdom from your own unique family experience.

You cannot control how your family has behaved in the past or will in the future but you can control how you act & react to your family!

Whether living with a positive or negative family legacy we can choose what we do with the demands & expectations placed upon us by family members in this season or at anytime.

If we cannot meet those demands or expectations, for whatever reason then we need to be kind to ourselves!

And have wisdom in what we expose our emotional, mental, physical & spiritual selves to.

Wise advice

If it’s too emotionally painful or even dangerous to be in a particular family member/s presence then limit the time you are at the family gathering.

Or make another time to celebrate with the safer members of your family, until resolution & healing can hopefully take place.

Christmas is to celebrate our Creator’s gift of love to us, His Son Jesus.

A gift that totally changed the course of human history for all eternity!

He came to bring peace & light to the hearts of men, women & children of all generations.

He is that peace, we just need to accept His light!

You may enjoy reading my personal journey in accepting His peace & light in My story...

Be kind to yourself dear friend & please have wisdom in this season, for you are very precious & loved by your Heavenly Father.

Until next time,


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


in Prayer

© 2018 Jennifer M. Ross, All Rights Reserved. Photo on

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40 thoughts on “Christmas blues…

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  1. Jennifer, Christmas can be so difficult for so many. Your counseling experience has seen it for sure. I am grateful for Godly parents who taught by example and for God’s grace in our lives. We are imperfect people who love a perfect God. Thank you for writing and encouraging❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the reminder and tips, Jennifer. There are so many hurting souls around us and surely none of us are perfect, but reaching others with our Savior’s love and light is even more crucial in these times when the hurting need healing. May the Lord help us to love more and judge less. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said indeed, Jennifer. I shared some of those similar themes in my Thanksgiving post and a post early last week. In our own family, both of my husband’s parents died in December of different years as did a grandparent. Then his younger brother (as an adult) committed suicide on Christmas Eve after never dealing with the grief of the death of his teenage son eight years previously. What you have shared are reminders that are important to read no matter what the season may be for us personally. Blessings on you, my friend!🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome Boma!
      Yes I agree as highlighted in the above reflection “He is the peace ~ the peace on earth”… also known as the Prince of Peace…
      And as mentioned we need to be working hopefully towards a resolution & healing in these painful family situations…
      In the meantime we need to have wisdom for the safety of all concerned 😀


  4. This is a great post, Jennifer! It’s so true, there are no perfect families whatever the media might tell us and it is important to remember those who struggle particularly at this time of year. I like the sound of the Turkish Delight tea!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Jennifer for this real look at the heightened stress of the Christmas season. A look around the blog world reminds me that many are experiencing this very thing. Thanks for the practical advice, as well – to limit our interactions in toxic situations. This Christmas, I’m reminding myself to simply come to Jesus for the peace that He offers. Blessed Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such wisdom and truth here, Jennifer! Our reaction is so very important. We can rewrite the future by our reactions to others. Reacting in love is a habit we must form in order to have positive interactions with difficult people.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for addressing an important and sensitive topic with wisdom and compassion. You are right – there is no perfect family. I think social media feeds this concept as well as Christmas movies and TV shows. When you look at IG or FB posts, all you see are happy families celebrating around a Christmas tree or beautiful table. You don’t see the frustrations, tears, heartaches and hurt that may be there in the background. We can only control our responses to others’ actions. Our response should always be made with love. Hope your holidays are merry, Jennifer!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So grateful that there is no perfect. Working to let go of that idea in my head a little more each year to enjoy what is right in front of me with Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mince shortbread and Turkish Delight tea, count me in. Oh, family blues, have had some myself. We think everyone else has the perfect family but us, but it just is not true. Movies and books idealize families and yet look at the bible. Not many perfect families in it. Most all broken and with lots of problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome to sit at my table Theresa! 😊
      You’ve made a great point Theresa with the families in the Bible!
      As a retired Clinical Counselor I can attest that there are no perfect families on planet Earth but the majority do try!
      I’m glad we have a perfect heavenly Father & Saviour though 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Morish – is a word I learned from my mother-in-law. It meant I always wanted more; one serving was never enough. Made me smile.
    It takes maturity to acknowledge all the highs and lows of families and knowing how we will deal with them. Thanks for this helpful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Looks now as if I won’t get old,
    so I’ll cut right to the bone;
    fam’ly’s always left me cold,
    and it’s best I’m left alone
    to walk my solitary road
    and keep the season in my way,
    bearing no-one else’s load,
    not letting someone have a say,
    for though it’s not been The Good Fight,
    I’m still here with heart intact,
    and in the place from which I write
    where looming death’s always a fact,
    sentiment stays on the shelf,
    and I do this by myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wise counsel. Even in the best of families, our different opinions and preferences and personalities can bump against each other and cause friction. Those with decades of difficult family history can feel like they are walking through a mine field. We need to extend grace to each other and ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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