Letting Go of Holiday Expectations

Several years ago, my husband and I didn’t spend Thanksgiving with a single one of our five adult children. Did letting go of our holiday expectations feel odd? Yes. Was it best for everyone? We think so.

Our oldest daughter and her husband alternate holidays with his family and our family. That year Thanksgiving was with his family. For our oldest son in California, coming home for Thanksgiving wasn’t in his budget. For our middle daughter, her husband and our granddaughter were already expected at two different Thanksgiving gatherings on his side of the family. And our second youngest spent the holiday with friends. Finally, our youngest and his then-fiancée would have been happy to join us. But we gave them the freedom to enjoy the day with her family. 

I love the holidays, but I don’t love them more than I love my family. And I love traditions, but I don’t love them more than the people I share those traditions with.

That Thanksgiving, I realized that the most loving thing I could do was give our kids the freedom to make their plans and be grateful for whatever new ways we could connect. I’ve found this required me to let go of two things: traditions and opinions. Doing so has increased connection, expanded my ability to love and grown my gratitude.


Kathleen Notes: Yes, people and relationships before traditions. That being said, I`m super happy to spend the holidays with my kids and grandkids.

- - Volume: 9 - WEEK: 48 Date: 11/23/2021 12:42:20 PM -