A different kind of family Christmas….

Everyone has their Christmas traditions and time they spend with friends and family. Our Christmas tradition is simple; my husband and I spend a quiet Christmas together. But when my mother-in-law took a turn for the worst and my husband left town on the 23rd, my plans for Christmas suddenly and dramatically changed. No quiet Christmas Eve dinner at home. No Christmas Day champagne brunch at the Brown Palace. My Christmas just got thrown a curve ball.

I knew I would be bombarded with invitations if my friends knew I would be alone on Christmas. However, I really didn’t want to be pulled into someone else’s dysfunctional family Christmas. Nor did I want to go to a movie and go out for Chinese food. I figured sitting at home watching old movies sounded like my best choice. Then I remembered that there was a special edition Christmas morning ballet class scheduled this year. When I first heard about it, I was astonished that anyone would consider taking a ballet class on Christmas Day. Suddenly it sounded like a brilliant idea.

I woke up to a freezing cold morning with a few inches of snow on the ground. You just have to be in a good mood on a morning like that. It was glorious! I listened to Christmas music and sang along as I maneuvered the slippery roads to the dance studio. When I got there, Christmas music was playing in the studio. The front desk was transformed into a beautiful and festive buffet table laden with food for after class. Dancers were bubbling with greetings and laughter, as well as a spirit of joy and camaraderie.

Sometimes things don’t always go the way we plan. We can either fight against the change or go with the flow and find another option. I didn’t get to spend my traditional family Christmas with my husband. But, I did get to spend it with my ballet family. Like all families, we certainly have our level of dysfunction. I sure am grateful for them; they made a difficult Christmas a whole lot easier. And that is what family is about.

Be healthy!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP

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