A Holiday Win by Julie Arduini

It was early November when I noticed my sister called. We aren’t big phone callers, we tend to text or email, so I was concerned. I listened to the voicemail and she was confused. Mom had talked to her about Thanksgiving, a holiday we’d already decided to have at my house in Ohio. In the conversation Mom decided to cancel Thanksgiving.


I know that sounds odd but once I talked to her, I saw where she was coming from and what her motivation was. We were all tired and ripe for trouble. A situation for my sister and mom that should have been a couple weeks had stretched to five. It left them exhausted and living a busier schedule than normal.

Mom was tired.

Sister was tired.

And because of my recent travels in a very short span of time, I was tired.

Canceling seemed like the easiest plan.

But for me, it didn’t seem like the right one.

I talked to mom and assured her if I didn’t want them to come, I’d take back the invitation. I’ve grown a lot over the years and I no longer keep quiet when I’m overwhelmed. I canceled a holiday years ago when I was stressed and became very sick. I knew it was too much. This time around, I felt I could handle the holiday and extra people. I encouraged her to consider coming.

I also explained that by announcing an event was canceled to avoid a fight, and yet not discussing this with everyone else, guess what is even more ripe to take place? A fight. My sister did the right thing by calling and asking for more information, and as hard as it was, I have no regrets that I called mom and asked her to hold on next time she wants to cancel something I’m hosting.

Here’s what happened.

  • Yep, the turkey drippings decided to spill all over the oven and smoke things up BIG time, but the food was really good. One of my best turkeys ever. We ate and had a good time around the table.
  • We took down fall decorations and put up Christmas ones. It was fun to do it as a family, especially with a four year old.
  • The day after Thanksgiving we traveled to a tree farm. Not only did we cut our own tree, my sister took precious pictures of her son that she’s using for her Christmas cards. I love formatting cards and she’s a kindergarten teacher with a young child. I’m so glad we were together as I had a blast helping her create her cards.
  • During our time at the tree farm a staff member asked to take our picture. Although I was in sweats with limp hair, she convinced us. They needed families to pose with a prop they had to encourage others to come out and use their place for Christmas card photo ops. The next day we were on their Facebook page. It’s the first picture my sister and I have had together since my wedding in 1996. Wow. It also featured her and her son, and me and my daughter. Talk about a precious moment.

The Arduini family finds their Christmas tree AND a holiday victory.

Now that everyone is home and back in their routine, we’re already talking about funny things that happened. My husband asked if I would be willing to do it again.


I shared on Facebook a little about our experience and summed it up like this, “It’s a lot of packing on their part, and some re arranging on ours, but as I said to mom as she left, ‘Thanks for taking the risk.’ Sometimes we want perfect so bad we’d rather say no and never try. I’m glad my sister and I realized perfect wasn’t going to happen, but we were willing to try.”

Can you relate? Especially when the holidays add an element of stress to it, it’s hard to take a risk. Did anyone say yes and give it a try? How did it go for you?


I wanted to let you know I’m re-tooling a lot of what I do and one of those things is my newsletter. My latest issue is out and I’d love for you to take a look, subscribe, and tell others.

Here’s what you receive in the December 2015 issue:

-A BONUS tip I didn’t share in my contribution to our own Yvonne Lehman’s More Christmas Comfort on Surviving Christmas.

-A COMPLETE novella that explores surrendering secrets and life controlling issues. Crumbs and Embers is an Upstate NY based story featuring senior center director Wendy Bass and Fire Commissioner Derek Spencer. When he comes to town he uncovers Wendy’s secrets while trying to keep a lid on his own. Will the two stop trying to fix their own issues and allow each other in?

-A CHOCOLATE Christmas recipe.

-A sneak peek at what you can look forward to in 2016 as I encourage you to surrender the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate.

Subscribe for FREE by completing the form in the left sidebar at http://juliearduini.com. Watch your inbox (including spam folder) so you can activate.

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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