Every family has them and every holiday exposes them: chaotic, crazy family members. As someone once said with a very pronounced southern accent, “In the south, we don’t ask if you have crazy people in your family. We just ask which side they are on!” It doesn’t matter if you are from the north, south, east, or west. We all have crazy people in our families, and the holidays don’t just bring them all together, the holidays bring them together in rare form. Any time there are gatherings of family, there is a great opportunity for disaster or total unexpected hilarious fun. You decide: will you look at the shenanigans as disaster, or will you need to take a bottle of nerve pills to get through the afternoon? So how do you bring order into your family chaos? Plan and prepare to the best of your ability and be willing to let some of the plans fall to the wayside if you find they are causing too much chaos or craziness.
In my family, I am the planner, but I am also the crazy/chaotic one. I will never forget the Christmas that I decided was the year to have a ‘theme’ tree. I wanted everything to be done in cream, gold, and burgundy. My only problem was that although I have plenty of everything, I was a little short on the burgundy. Alayna was about 4 years old, so I loaded her up in the car and headed to the store. When I walked in the door, I spied exactly what I needed: burgundy glass balls. There was one box on the counter and 12 more balls on the tree. After un-decorating the tree, I had 11 of the 12 balls I needed. Looking at all sides of the tree which was on a large display of tables, I saw the last one on the backside at the top of the tree. No big deal. All I had to do was climb up on the display table, gently reach up, and take down the last ball. I instructed Alayna to stay by the cart and watch my purse while I got the last ball. She told me to not do it, but I really needed that last ball. As I climbed up onto the table, something went through my mind that this was probably not the best idea I had had in my life. It was confirmed when I stepped to the back of the tree and suddenly realized that this was not a solid square surface, but simply 4 rectangular tables that had been placed together to appear as a square. I stepped off the side of the table and promptly pulled the tree, the table cover, and myself into the floor as Alayna stood to the side and laughed.
At that point, I had a choice to limp away and laugh or to talk to myself with great consternation. I chose to laugh, and so did the employees at the store. In fact, it seemed that every time I went in the store for the next few weeks, someone was looking at me, grinning, and quickly turning away so I wouldn’t see them laugh. I am sure they had me on a security camera for the entire staff to see what not to allow customers to do in your store.
My point is that your perspective can ruin the holidays for you and your crazy people, or it can make it the most enjoyable season you have ever had. Which will it be? As we encounter totally unexpected situations in life, the best thing for us to remember is that, as Christians, we should be continuously trying to display the Christ-like behavior that will please our Father.
-Written by Mrs. Jelly Valimont