When Holidays Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

When most families around the world celebrate a Holiday like Easter Sunday with jubilation, families like ours brace for a storm. From the candy, overstimulation from church and family gatherings, to the mad rush of an easter egg hunt, it often proves to be disastrous. How do you find hope when this is the case?


It’s the day after Easter. I’m sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook. I should know better after holidays. Look at all the beautiful family pictures! All those smiles! Such pretty dresses. Everyone enjoying church together. Fun Easter egg hunts and spring activities. Lots and LOTS of smiles and thanksgiving for blissful time with extended family and a few mentions of what Easter truly is. 

All I can think is, “That’s not what our day looked like.” There was rushing and cussing and golf clubs (with no golf balls I might add). I caught a glimpse of my daughter at church and realized, I forgot to do her hair. What kind of mother does that on any day of church, but Easter? There were miss-matched clothes, fist fights, messes and sassy mouths. There was physical restraining and the recruitment of some friends to contain a child while I had to go teach a group of littles about a man and a stone that was rolled away. 

There were grand visions and plans were made previously to travel to our favorite spot for the next 24 hours, devouring tacos and walking up to the beach. A whole day as a family of giggles and fun on the beach after a much needed break. These were expensive plans too. 

And then the last hour, we chucked those expensive plans fully knowing we couldn’t get our money back for that beach hotel. It just wasn’t worth the effort at this point. We instead opted for dinner on our local beach. It was way past dinner time by now, but we can still save this day! But as we drove just minutes from our house, more hateful words were exchanged, and we said never mind to that too. 

We U-turned it and back up the hill to our house we went. A frozen meal for the kids and take out for mom and dad. Chocolate and some other beverages were consumed to end this day. No friends. We sent them on to enjoy what we had hoped to. No extended family joined us. And even if we told them, they wouldn’t understand anyway.

It wasn’t a day like it seemed so many others had. Not at all. While others enjoyed this holiday like they were supposed to, I was just relieved it was over. 

But today is a new day. And as I drink my coffee and reflect on yesterday, even though a few sad tears found their way down my cheeks, I remember He did come for me. He does love me. He is risen. And I know what Easter truly is. It’s not about pretty dresses and perfect pictures, making memories and happy kids. It’s about hope for messy people. Messy kids. Messy me. Easter is for families just like mine.

I’m still thankful for Easter. Even if it looks like it did yesterday and I feel like I do today. Because Easter is about grace. And my family needed grace yesterday. And Easter gives hope. And I need some hope today. May you know there is grace for you. And there is indeed still hope for your family too.

Question: How did your Easter turn out? Was it similar, better, or worse? If you can, share your story with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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