Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Unmerry Christmas



Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My parents are divorced and they divorced when I was a baby. I’m 12. Until I was 10, I took turns every Christmas being with one family or the other. Now we all live close enough to have Christmas dinner together.
I can’t stand the thought of having another one. My stepmom looks uncomfortable around my mom and hardly says anything, my mom overdoes everything and brings up old stuff about her and dad so they joke about it like it was no big deal. My younger sister and brother fight and act crazy and no one cares!
The last few Christmases were about politics, and my mom and dad will argue over that. Who cares on Christmas Day.

It’s not even fun anymore!

Last year my grandpa gave me some champagne and I drank it and my mom saw and said, “Well, at least you are drinking at home where I can see you.” I had three glasses and it was kind of fun. 
I just want to go over my friend’s house where they don’t argue, get drunk or talk about politics and stuff.
Signed,
Un-Merry about Christmas

Dear Un-Merry,

We are really proud of you that you are strong enough to write to us and see the big picture at such a young age. We are sorry that the adults in your life can’t see and feel what you are experiencing. Telling the truth about a situation that doesn’t seem to be working for anyone is a brave thing to do.
We want you to have enough courage to show this article to your parents and ask if you may all decide to do things differently.
Tell your parents that you know underage drinking is wrong. even if an adult tells you it’s okay to drink at home or anywhere! Your parents and grandparents aren’t aware of how many problems drinking can create for you. The younger a person drinks (or does drugs), the higher chance they have of battling addictions for life. It’s also against the law.
And let them know that you prefer separate Christmas celebrations.
Please contact us and let us know that you will stand up for yourself and your whole family. God bless you and your family to celebrate Christmas with love, gentleness and goodness.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Hi, Rhonda and Dr. Cheri!

I read your December 6th column with interest.  Of course, you were absolutely right in your reply to the young man whose mother and sister take great glee in male bashing.  It sounds like a pattern of behavior they have gotten into but it needs to be stopped.  There is nothing wrong (and everything right) in telling an offending person that their behavior is offensive.  That is also a vital part of Christianity.  It can be done with a simple statement and without any malice.  This wonderful young man needs to let his feelings be known.  It is a mystery why the father hasn't said anything.  Maybe he is simply used to it!  But it does bother the son and he should speak up.  The important women in his life should know how he feels. 

Joyce

Hello Joyce,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We absolutely agree. We could and should have told the young man to speak up and ask his father to do the same. Speaking up doesn't mean using anger, malice or unkindness. It is a vital part of Christianity.

With our gratitude,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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