Change is good even around the holidays. If you have a grown son or daughter who is now married, it is best to start considering what this means as you merge families and holiday traditions. Even though deep down we know it’s important to embrace our child’s new life, I have witnessed full-grown women—grandmothers even—pout like children as they mumble over how “it just won’t be the same” without their homemade dressing at Thanksgiving. Yes, it seems the new in-laws are infringing on a holiday tradition.
Although the world will not end if your cornbread stuffing doesn’t make its yearly debut, it sure can feel like it. If your son or daughter is now part of another family because of their engagement or marriage, it may seem they have been “stolen” from you, and the holidays only serve to emphasize that. If ever there was a time to look at the glass half full, now is that time. Respecting your son or daughter as the adult he or she is, means accepting his or her decisions and new family. This may mean your child moves away and doesn’t come home for the holidays, or that he or she lives nearby but plans to spend the holidays with his or her spouse’s family.
Think positive thoughts, count to ten and breathe. This phase of your life can be an adventure. Now is the time to think of you for a change! If less is required of you around the holidays, just show up and have fun. Enjoy watching your son or daughter and get to know your new family. Soon, you will be making new holiday traditions that you can enjoy with your grandchildren.
If you take a moment to reflect, you realize how blessed you are to have a growing and happy family. You will be surprised how many of your traditions your children will carry on themselves. And who knows, maybe this time next year you will be on a cruise to Aruba sipping a cold drink instead of baking cornbread.
Amelia Orozco is the senior editor and writer at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo and a community and entertainment reporter for TeleGuía Chicago. A mother of three, Amelia also maintains an active role in her community and church by working with youth and promoting education and diversity through her writing and volunteer efforts.