Holidays when adult children reject parents

holidays parents of estranged adult childrenHolidays when adult children reject parents: 2015 Series (post 2) Spirit

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

I know how sad and lonely it may feel for the holidays when adult children reject parents. This is the second in my short-post series for holidays, 2015. We’re all busy, and short posts may help.

Out Christmas shopping today, the traffic, the long lines, and a list of necessary to-dos weighed heavily. Maybe you can relate. Especially during the holidays, when adult children reject parents, the ordinary busy-ness may feel oppressive. But if you’re open to a little “magic,” insights to help you are all around. Here’s just such a moment:

Waiting in a long holiday shopping line the other day, I noticed the older woman in front of me. She cheerfully hauled her huge bags of sugar, chocolate chips, and Christmas ham up onto the counter for the cashier. She had a Christmas tree watch with a plaid band, shiny red shoes, red fingernail polish, a Santa purse….

Suddenly filled with joy, I complimented her spirit—-and she was thrilled.

“Oh, look!” she exclaimed, holding up her wrist for me to see her watch with the Christmas tree on its face. Then she pointed to the flaming candle motif on her bright red sweater. “I like to have fun with the holidays,” she said, her eyes twinkling.

“Are you sure you aren’t Mrs. Claus?” I teased, her cheery spirit catching.

She tilted her head. “Yes, I think I just may be.”

A moment later, with a hearty, “Merry Christmas!” she was gone. On to the rest of her holiday tasks, I suppose. Taking her lovely spirit with her to brighten others’ days.

Seeing her was a good reminder for me: the season is all about OTHERS.

As I hauled my own items up onto the counter, I couldn’t help wondering what sort of pain that woman has been through in her life. We all have troubles. Yet, with a cheerful spirit, and bright red shoes, she brings a bit of joy.

May we each find a way to be a Mr. or Mrs. Claus to some stranger who needs their spirits lifted. And may we also be open to seeing joy when it presents itself. Those people appreciate a little recognition.

Related posts:

Parents of estranged adult children: Reinvent Yourself

2015 Series post 1: Be kind to yourself this holiday season



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2 thoughts on “Holidays when adult children reject parents

  1. Di

    Hello Sheri,

    I was feeling very encouraged when I read Part 2 of your Holiday series, about Spirit.

    I can relate to that happy feeling FOR others, and having fun with them while out.
    Inside, like you pondered about the fittingly holiday-dressed lady, I could feel the emotional pain I have.
    Who is to say, that ‘she’ is not going through very difficult times with her children or family, as we are here.

    THANK you Sheri.
    Right now, I feel like going out tomorrow with pretty holiday attire on. I hope that I feel this way when the time comes to dress, but it may not happen. I must have faith.


  2. rparents Post author

    Hi Di,

    Sometimes it helps just to go through the motions. Be kind and patient with yourself … but yes. Put on something bright and cheery. You may make someone”s day!

    Sheri McGregor


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