Embracing Love and Understanding: Navigating Christmas with Family Members Battling Addiction

We have been busy and distracted with preparing for Christmas and as we get closer to the big day, I wanted to connect with all of you and share some of my thoughts. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love everything about it and my hubby and I share the excitement with the kids. It’s a special time of year to make memories that we will cherish and we want it to be the best it can be for us all to enjoy.

The holiday season can be stressful for so many of us but for families of a loved one struggling with addiction, there is a different kind of stress and worry - it’s heavy, full of uncertainty. Debating whether to buy a gift or invite your loved one to dinner or will you see them over the holidays?

Like myself, I am sure many of you struggle with the problem of gifts for our loved ones. You either have to get creative or stick to the basics of essentials. Obviously no cash or gift cards or anything of value that could be sold, pawned or traded for drugs. None of us want to see our money wasted if these gifts were sold for drugs but ultimately it isn’t in our control. What we need to remember is that this time of year is magical in the sense that once a year we all know how to give unconditionally and it shouldn’t matter if they are an addict or not. The basics of gift giving at Christmas is a symbol of love - who needs to know they are loved right now? Our struggling loved ones deserve it and they need it more than they realize. So, get the gift and don’t question what happens with it after. We tend to overthink this and let all the what if’s crowd our thoughts when we should listen to our hearts and think like a child - an example I will share with you, my grandson wanted to buy presents for his mom and decided he would sell something he didn’t need anymore to make the money he needed, he bought her a blanket and pillow so she could be warm and comfortable. He doesn’t care or worry that she might lose or sell them, he just wants her to be happy on Christmas.  


Christmas is a chance to celebrate the connections you have together, to unconditionally love each other and be grateful for all that you have in your life. I know some of you struggle with inviting them to your house and trust me I know how impossible that situation can be, you can only do what works for you and fits with what you are comfortable with. My daughter is welcome and I really want her to be here to connect with a family that loves her dearly. I want her to be included and to be able to enjoy the holidays with her children. Tomorrow isn’t promised for any of us and I want to make sure she knows without an ounce of doubt, she is loved.


I wish you all a Merry Christmas full of hope, faith and love. I hope the New Year brings peace and joy for all of you. 


I am Tammy Preston with the Ashes to Awesome podcast and please remember you are loved.