Thursday, December 31, 2015

Julie Arduini | Spread the Christmas Joy


The Christmas Iron

With a call to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate, I understand Christmas is not always the fun vision of perfection the coffee commercial that makes me cry each year depicts. I’m living proof that sometimes there isn’t much to celebrate in December and that there are years when surviving is the only goal.

One memory that stands out is the year of the Christmas iron. I wasn’t quite a teen but I was old enough to understand tension. Our family was going through a difficult season that seemed magnified against the Christmas tree and blinking lights. It was a year where I’d later learn marriage held in the balance, addiction ruled, money was tight, and we were all wound tighter than a toy solder’s drum.

Somehow with limited funds we bought Mom an iron. I don’t remember where we bought it or who wrapped it. I don’t recall enjoying Christmas Eve new pajamas or the excitement of waking Christmas morning.

I do remember sitting next to the tree, in complete innocence blurting, “Mom, are you going to open your iron now?”
There was dead silence followed by laughter. Between the stress of our situation and the mood swings of an almost teenaged girl, I didn’t interpret the giggles as laughing with me as much as at me. I was devastated and remember feeling an ache the entire day that I ruined what could have been the one good thing about that particular Christmas.

Looking back, I can smile at my mistake and I certainly rejoice that for all that could have happened after that year, things really turned around the better for all of us. I use that moment as a reminder to never let any situation become so tense that a child is afraid to speak. Even as an adult I’ve had seasons full of loss and change and I was determined not to let anyone feel the ache and worry I remembered carrying all those years ago.

Christmas doesn’t need to be perfect, but I am a big believer in making sure it is a season for everyone to enjoy.

Even if you receive an iron for Christmas.

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the
bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, ENTRUSTED, and co-author of THE LOVE BOAT BACHELOR and UNLIKELY MERGER. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE.
Facebook: http://facebook.com/JulieArduini 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JulieArduini 
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JulieArduini/posts 
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/JulieArduini
Instagram: http://instagram.com/JulieArduini
Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/JulieArduini
Amazon: Heart Seekers