Sometimes Christmas can be just what we need at the end of a difficult year.

An example of something similar comes from Dorothy. She grew up in a very troubled home life, and every year she dreaded Christmas. Her father was an alcoholic and that always impacted their holidays, whether he was tuned out or angry and belligerent.

When Dorothy had her own kids, she found that the holidays brought her a measure of healing that grew every year. Carrying out simple Christmas traditions with her family gradually allowed her to replace the painful memories with better ones, and she began to view the holidays as rewarding and fun. And now those traditions and that positive trend have continued and been magnified with her grandchildren.

Maybe it’s an exaggeration to compare this year to the trauma of a difficult or abusive childhood. That doesn’t mean this year has been easy. Because of social distancing, we’ve been deprived of priceless opportunities with our children and grandchildren. Many grandparents have struggled with loneliness. Some have lost loved ones and/or faced serious health concerns ourselves. For some of us, 2020 has been more of a mild inconvenience. For others it feels like a major crisis.

Maybe, like Dorothy, we can use this season and these celebrations to provide a needed shot of optimism. Does this mean Christmas spirit an easy remedy for all our current challenges? Probably not. And in some situations, holiday activities only add to the stress.

But if we intentionally turn our thoughts to the best things about Christmas and look for reasons to have hope, peace, joy and love, those are steps in the right direction. And maybe we can be contagious sources of those things for our grandchildren.

Whatever your plans are for this Christmas and whether you get to be with family or you’re having more of a virtual gathering, make the most of your opportunities. There are still some great reasons to help make Christmas special for your grandkids.

How are you investing in your grandkids during the holidays this year? Share some encouragement with other like-minded grandparents on our Facebook page.