Holidays Can Be Hard

It would be pretty impossible to miss the fact that Easter is right around the corner. Advertisements are chocked full of Easter bunnies and frooffy dresses. Blogs and tweets are full of Bible verses speaking of hope and life. A Hope that gives us all abundant living.

Yet, this is a small place in my heart that is sad because Easter is another holiday.

A holiday that I and my immediate family don’t spend time with “family family” because both my inlaws and family live 1,000 miles away. We’ve been in another state for 18 years, and you’d think that by now I’d find a surrogate family.

But years are sometimes like oreo cookies.

You have a stack of them next to you with a cold glass of milk while you’re reading facebook. And before you know it, you look down and the cookies are gone. You wonder where they went as you wipe your mouth on your sleeve.

In the past, I just held my breath and tried to make it through a holiday without making it particularly special. I missed both families but didn’t know how to fix it or change it.

I dropped the ball in that area with raising my kids.

My kids aren’t used to hanging out with weird smelling aunts or strange uncles. They didn’t see me rolling my eyes or holding back tears if an unkind remark was made about a new fruit salad. They didn’t have to hear about family fights or grandpa’s gas.

So this holiday, think about inviting someone over that doesn’t have family nearby. Ask the college student that can’t go home for the weekend or the neighbor that lives alone. They probably won’t mind your weird relatives and will feel right at home. And they’ll probably be thankful for the invite.

Well, after all this talk, I better run.

Excuse me while I’m off to Facebook to tell my two big kids who are away at college to invite any of their friends over for Easter dinner at our house. I’ve got some cooking to do.

Photo by Grzegorz Lobinski

10 responses to “Holidays Can Be Hard”

  1. Sandy@RE

    Great post, Jan! Funny, I asked my son the same thing. Do you have any friends who might want to have Easter with us? Happy Easter, friend!

  2. Leann

    Ah, nice! Happy Easter, Dear Friend! The sad thing about home in two places is that you will never be all the way home here on this earth. If you go one place, you will miss the dear friends in another! Heaven will have none of that stuff. It will be here soon enough. Resurrection Sunday is a reminder of that! 🙂

  3. PJ

    Hi Jan,
    We also live 1,000 miles from our families and holidays due highlight that. Because our children are younger, I think, we have been blessed to form a family of choice, so to speak. .. we take turns hosting, just like I would with my siblings.

    I’ve been getting ready to take my turn this Sunday, and I’ll think of you as we sit down.

    I hope you have an inspiring weekend!

    Thank you!

  4. Misty


    This post was so close to my own experience. We are as far from family and always have been. We try to do Easter dinner with friends to make up for the lack of others in our lives but can’t help feeling a little left out of the festivities “back home”. Your writing is wonderful – love the fine line between sadness and humor.
    Great Oreo pic too! Thanks for linking!

  5. Patti

    I appreciate your suggestion to invite someone over at Easter. There are so many who don’t have family near. It is true at every holiday. We can make a difference. Thank you.

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