How to enjoy Christmas when your family isn't normal

I hear the enthusiastic murmurs of Christmas traditions and traveling to see family, but I don’t have much to add to the conversation. 

The milk and cookies, up by 6am, leftovers for days Christmas of my childhood is gone. Now, I’m 20, and Christmas usually reminds me that my parents divorced when I was 13 and my family doesn’t all live in the same place anymore. On Christmas, I am rarely surrounded by blood relatives, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it

The hope of Jesus is bigger than the pain of our broken families.

Whether your family is separated, lives far away, or dysfunctional in any way, Christmas can still be the most wonderful time of the year. The hope of Jesus is bigger than the pain of our broken families. 

Three Truths to Enjoy Christmas No Matter What Your Family Looks Like

1. Christmas isn’t copy and paste. 

Believing that your Christmas celebration should look like other families’ Instagrams will keep you from enjoying it. For a long time, my dread of Christmas blinded me from seeing the blessings of Jesus in my life. 

Jesus says that His people, the church, will be marked by a love for each other. (John 13:34-35). One way that love marks my life is when my church family invites me and my mom to spend the holidays with them. No family is normal, and I’m thankful Jesus blessed us with no ordinary family at NewSpring.  

2. Christmas is about celebrating Jesus. 

We can spend Christmas moping around, wishing things were different. Or, we can celebrate that because of Jesus, we are different. 

We have a God who sent His Son to earth as a baby to live among us and die for our sins, so we can spend eternity with Him (John 1:14). That’s worth celebrating! When we fix our eyes on the truth that Jesus loved us enough to leave heaven to be with us, there’s no room to be sad about what we eat or who we spend Dec. 25 with. 

3. Jesus is our hope.    

We’re promised in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for the good of those who love God. Yes, having a broken family isn’t fun. We all want a great family, and through Jesus we have a family that is united by His death and resurrection. We might not be born to the same parents, but we have all things in common because of Christ (John 1:12)

Whatever pain we have now is nothing compared to glory of the future (Romans 8:18). God pours out blessings through his body, the church. Christmas might look different every year, but Jesus takes care of His children. 


Groups are a great way to get to know your church family. Use the Group Finder to see the groups meeting near you. 

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