The holidays can be difficult and depressing. Shorter days, gloomy weather, family chaos with everyone at home, and changes in schedules can intensify our challenges of caring for a family member with exceptional needs. The complaint I hear the most is, “Christmas and all its traditions no longer bring me joy. It’s just extra work and stress – financial and emotional. They just remind me how much our lives have been changed by this disability, how different we are from other families.”

Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

This passage has helped me let go of expectations, even beloved traditions (lavish decorations, travel to visit family, expensive gifts, etc.) to create a holiday experience that works for us in this season of life. Yes, there were some people who were disappointed in and disapproving of the changes we’ve made, but I have my sanity back. The true Spirit of Christmas now shines in our home and family. I can love and give with peace and joy again.