In the new book “All American Christmas,” Fox News’ Shannon Brimm describes her “celebration of Christmas as a child,” her parents separated when she was just one year old.
She wrote, “I have no memories of them being together so my early memories are of spending my two big days with each other separately.”
It’s a situation that millions of other Americans can understand and handle, at Christmas and most other holidays during the year (not to mention weekends and summer holidays).
Bream continues, “Divorce is a sad event in any child’s life, but for me, I enjoyed double celebrations of my birthday and Christmas every year. It helped ease the pain of their separation.” (Her birthday is December 23).
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I found a way to make lemonade from this lemon, so to speak, especially given the love and care that came its way from the diverse family members at Christmas and throughout the year.
Check out this challenge optimism from her longer article – and share your thoughts in the comments section below this article.
sRead Shannon Brim’s story about Christmas, family, and fond memories
Shannon Brim at Christmas All America: I can now see that celebrating two factors of Christmas as a child has continued, with some difference, into adulthood, and, as it was for me then, is a very interesting combination…
Was the birthdays combined with the family so wonderful, but there were a few years, especially when I was very young, when it was just me and my mother.
She was a young mom, on a very tight budget, and I used to hear, “Things are tight this year, and Christmas isn’t about gifts, please don’t expect anything big, and I love you so much, but we can’t do that this year.”
I got it, and it was just fine with me, and I never realized we didn’t have everything we needed. Having a roof over my head, food to eat, and the love of grandparents and parents was enough for me.
And we had a lot of fun too.
So when my mom said that, she was sad because she thought she should lower my expectations.
It must have been difficult for her, however, somehow, she always managed to put things under the tree for me.
A year after she married my stepfather – I must have been in third or fourth grade – she got something called Sit ‘n Spin. I’ve seen commercials of her on TV and thought, “Oh my God, that wouldn’t be cool!”
And it was!
If you don’t remember it, the label on the box says it all. It was a plastic seat and base, and you would sit and spin on it, like a home version of a playground piece. I’ve spent hours on this thing, and I think it was kind of the best parent-friend game – I just wracked myself into it.
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Fortunately, I didn’t get dizzy – just tired of all the effort!
So, yes, money was scarce in my childhood years, but I had many blessings on that complex family tree.
One of the greatest of these was the relationship I developed with my grandmother Neil. She lived to the age of 102, Grandpa Phil lived a good long life until the age of 88, and we were close when I was a kid.
I had another kind of relationship with my grandmother when I was growing up, and we developed a true friendship. I adored her as a child and admired and appreciated her as an adult. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to talk to her more about her life, and the decisions she’s made as part of a couple, of that sort.
We always went to church together at Christmas and the rest of the year.
Years after my mom and I moved and all moved to Tallahassee, we would go to her house every Sunday to pick her up for services at Temple Baptist Church.
Later, when I was an adult, we would still do this whenever I came home to visit.
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Grandma Nell always wore a service hat, and we always sat in the second row so she could better hear the sermon and the songs.
Regular church attendees knew this was Neil’s place, and we can tell someone was new to the church if he settled there.
Grandma didn’t mind at all. She loved getting to know guests and new church members.
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That church is a big part of my Christmas memories of processions, plays, and choirs.
Adapted from All American Christmas Written by Rachel Campos Duffy and Sean Duffy. to buy a copy, click here.