By Kelly Basham
Does the idea to share the holiday load with the younger generation make your heart race and your palms sweat? Relinquishing control can be an uncomfortable ordeal, but there are blessings to behold when we are willing to share the holiday load with the younger generation.
Traditionally, the holiday meal is prepared and shared at my house. Every year I look forward to hosting the holiday meal, so naturally, I was apprehensive when my daughter told me she wanted to host it at her home this year.
Her request induced a rush of concerns to flood my mind:
Will it still smell, taste, and look the same at her house?
Will the holiday celebration still feel the same if I am not the host?
When We Share the Holiday Load
Letting someone else take over the responsibility for something we enjoy doing isn’t easy. Perhaps we believe we know best how the holidays should be observed and balk at the idea of trying something new. Maybe we fret at the prospect of losing a responsibility we assumed would always be ours to carry out
But as I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way), what I thought would be a disappointing loss often turns out to be an unexpected blessing to be enjoyed.
Here are four unexpected blessings I encountered when I was willing to let go and share the Holiday load with my daughter:
- We have less to get upset about.
When it comes to the holidays, I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so I feel an overwhelming need to control every detail: the time, the place, the decor, the menu, etc. I want everything to be perfect, and I get upset when things don’t go as planned. Sharing the load with my daughter meant I had to let go of some of my control, which made me feel uneasy!
In reality, nothing is perfect. Something always goes awry. But if we are willing to be flexible, let go of our unrealistic need to make everything perfect, and share the load with our adult children, we can take some of the pressure off ourselves and enjoy a more peaceful holiday.
- We have less stress.
My need to try and do it all always leads to stress. But I’m not always willing to accept help, especially in my kitchen. I’ve had to learn to let others help me, which hasn’t been an easy feat. Relying on God’s help has helped me combat my need to do everything independently.
If your children want to share the responsibility of preparing the meal (or host the entire celebration) and you’re struggling to let them do so, you can ask God to help you. It might not be easy, but with God’s help, I believe you will find, as I have, that things run smoother with additional support. Plus, the extra company and conversation in the kitchen make the meal prep much more pleasurable!
- We get to experience the unique gifts God has given our children.
Everyone has a certain way of doing things. While our children may do things differently than we would, it doesn’t make it any less lovely when they help us share the load or host the entire event.
God gifted us with various personalities, gifts and talents. When we let our children contribute, we get to experience the gifts God has given them. And that is a blessing we don’t want to miss!
- We get to enjoy the people around us more.
If we carry the entire load ourselves, we have less opportunity to enjoy time with our families. When I finally relinquished some of my need to do it alone, I had more time to sit and appreciate the people around me. With more time, I was able to partake in making memorable moments with our family, which is something I will always treasure.
We can joyfully experience the blessings that come from sharing the holiday load with our children and focus more on Jesus when we’re willing to let go. As we celebrate the holiday season, let’s give ourselves permission to be present and relish every moment with our families and rest, knowing that we don’t have to do it all!
Wife Step: What is one responsibility you could hand over to the younger generation that would allow them to help prepare the holiday meal?
Kelly is a writer and blogger passionate about pointing others to God’s word for all of life’s obstacles. On her blog, Blossom In Faith, she writes to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Jesus as they seek, study, and reflect on God’s word. Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Brandon, two young adult children, their son-in-law, and two very cuddly puppies. When she isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her working on a new arts and crafts project, hunting for vintage accessories, or planning her family’s next visit to the mountains.