Celebrating Christmas 2017

Hey friends! I am so excited for the third post this week centered on Christmas. Today I wanted to share a few thoughts and feelings that I've been having about the holiday.

The last few months have been more difficult than I imagined and in ways that I didn't expect. When you lose someone it will be hard, especially around the holidays. My role in my family's loss of Mark's dad was sort of confusing to me and it still is somedays, but I think I've discovered the most important thing for me to be doing right now is to be supportive of my husband and his family.

I wasn't sure what that meant exactly, and it seems that only now am I figuring it out. Being supportive is a little more than just saying "I'm sorry for your loss," and "I'm here for you." It means letting them cry if they need to, letting them have alone time, letting them make the decision to not decorate for Christmas or do all the social activities they used to love. It means understanding that grieving takes time and you can't take it personally if they aren't interested in the things they were interested in before the loss. Time is said to heal all wounds, so in being supportive of a family member or spouse as they grieve you need to remember to give them time.

Christmas has for sure been different this year. We lost a very important member of the Gettis family. I'll be honest, at first I was really mad at Mark because he was hardly talking to me about his feelings and he didn't help me decorate the tree or hang the lights or stay up late with me to watch all my favorite Christmas movies. But that is not being supportive and I'm so glad I realized this before it caused any type of discord in our marriage.

Being supportive means understanding those things. Understanding that sometimes things will just be different, and maybe even harder. Rather than focusing on the things that are different or hard or non-existent this Christmas, I've decided to focus on how we'll be celebrating Christmas 2017 instead.

I've realized the older I get, life is so much more enjoyable when you focus on the good and on your blessings instead of focusing on what you don't have or can't do. Anyone know what I mean?

So today I am going to share a few things that I am really looking forward to this Christmas.

- Creating new memories with my husband and my family.
- Giving gifts to those I love. (I'm a gift giver. I'm pretty sure that's my love language!)
- Visiting my Dad, Step-Mom, and siblings in Virginia (we leave tonight!)
- Singing at church on Christmas Eve. Mark and I have been leading worship the last few weeks at our church's satellite campus and we love it! This year, he is playing keys and I am singing with a few other people for Christmas Eve service.
- The candle lighting during Christmas Eve service.
- Christmas morning breakfast with my Mom, Step-Dad, and siblings.
- Dec. 26th Mark, his mom, sister, and her husband and I are all going to OC, MD for a few days. Typically we go on a mini vacation or day trip each year and this year I am just so excited to be able to spend some time relaxing with my in-laws.

I know that there will be tough moments throughout the holiday, but I am going to do my best to be supportive through it all and focus on the good and the new memories being made. In all things, God is good and especially during the Christmas season I think its important to remember that!


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