Choosing: The Hallmark Family Doesn't Exist

But does that mean we just give up trying?


I have a horrible confession to make:

 

I have been watching Hallmark Channel Christmas movies for the last few weeks.  I know, I know- they are incredibly predictable, horrifically staged and completely pointless.

 

But I keep watching.  Like they're a train wreck.

 

I think the holidays create some sort of expectation that our families should be magical, drama-free, and full of fun traditions and laughter.  I also think that we all know (to varying degrees) that no family is perfect, regardless of how much we love each other or celebrate together.

 

And then we stop there.  It's almost like saying, "Well, my family isn't anywhere close to a Hallmark movie.  So that's that."

 

Why does the pendulum have to swing from trying to have the perfect family, to giving up any intention or effort to create a healthy family?  While we may not expect to have a "perfect" family, I see that too often we resign ourselves to the family life that we have in front of us and allow our families to be pushed and pulled by busyness and culture and societal pressures and demands from others.  I often hear that "this is just how life is right now," assuming that one day life will decide it's ready to stop making you run around from one activity to the next, neglecting time with your kids or settling for family relationships that are strained or disconnected.

 

Once again, we have a choice about the space we create as a family - the values we hold, the way we spend our time, how we spend our money, the ways we interact with one another.  It won't ever be perfect, but it certainly deserves (and requires) our choice and our action.

 

What will you and yours choose this holiday?

 

With you and for you,

Alair

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Alair Olson, M.A.

 Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

(MFC#86504)

 

South Mission Valley | San Diego, CA  92108

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