Mary and Joseph

Christmas Eve Traditions and Recipes

Each year on Christmas Eve, I’m delighted to share some of the Christmas Eve traditions I’ve experienced with my family in years gone by, as well as a few recipes.

Traditions

In my childhood, there was just me and my mom and dad.  Throughout the season, as well as on Christmas Eve, we would watch Christmas shows and Christmas specials on television.  I especially enjoyed the Musical specials–including Andy Williams–and we loved to Sing Along With Mitch!  When I was around age 11, we began reading the Christmas story from the Bible and I would place the figures of Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, and the shepherd in a diorama I had received at church. Always on Christmas Eve, I was able to select one gift from under the tree to be opened that night.  There was a fire in the fireplace, and I remember enjoying the feeling of that special night together.

Many years later, after my marriage and when my children were young and we lived in the Long Beach, Lakewood, Ontario and Palmdale areas of California, we’d go to the home of my in-laws for a celebration.  There were varied main dishes and desserts. Each of their three children and I, along with each grandchild, received a Christmas stocking stuffed to the brim with small surprises–which we all opened that evening.  Many surprises included items from Avon– for which my mother-in-law was a representative.  It is a warm and wonderful memory for us now.

We enjoyed some celebrations with our Murphy side of the family, usually at other times during the season when we were in California.

Later in life, on other Christmas Eves, especially in Arizona while I was raising my children, I simplified.  We always had a little spiritual program Christmas Eve night followed by fun, songs or games when we were at our own home.  We had a traditional dinner of Enchilada Pie (a tradition that began with Grandma Mary Jane Kilgore), tossed green salad with Ranch dressing, tortilla chips, and Uncle Chuck Murphy’s Salsa most years.  Grandma Kilgore’s Lemon Cake drizzled with a lemon glaze usually followed.

A Cherished Memory

I remember the year my mom’s health was rapidly declining, and she was passing away.  Her kidneys were failing and she was experiencing congestive heart failure. Mom also had breast cancer. My youngest daughter, Marissa (age 8), was praying that she would be with us until Christmas.  When she shared with me her sincere desire, expressed in prayer, I said something like, “Oh no, Sweetheart, we need to let her pass when she’s ready.  It’s not good for her to stay with us all that time until Christmas.”  I quickly went to the copy shop, in September of the year 2000, and made paper copies of Christmas songs we could sing around my mom’s bedside.

Shortly thereafter, we sang Christmas carols to her and got to pre-celebrate our last Christmas together with song and with love in our hearts for that gentle, kind, loving, other’s-focused soul whom I was privileged to call my mother.  I know that that was a very holy time for all of us.  Earth and heaven seemed very intertwined.

Gratitude

I’m grateful that Jesus Christ was born, filled His mission on earth, and was resurrected—overcoming both physical and spiritual death and bridging the gap for us between earth and heaven again.  Making it possible for us to also return, as He did, to live with our Heavenly Father once more.  Because of Him, death will have no sting, and I will be able to see my mom, dad and other friends and family again someday.  For me, in Christ, there is both hope and peace.  I am very grateful.

Recipes

Here’s our recipes in case you’d like to try them.

ENCHILADA PIE

Grandma Mary Jane Kilgore’s recipe from Lawry’s.
We used this on Christmas Eve.

Lawry’s Enchilada Sauce Mix packet                                    Ripe olives

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey                              1 can tomato sauce – 8 oz.

1 medium onion, chopped                                                       6 corn tortillas

1 clove garlic, minced                                                                2 cups shredded cheese

2 T. margarine or butter                                                          2/3 cup water

1 tsp. Salt                                                                                      ¼ tsp. pepper

In a saucepan combine Enchilada sauce mix, 1 can (8 oz.), 2 ½  cups water.  Blend well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Sauté ground meat, onion and garlic in the margarine or butter.  Stir in Enchilada sauce, olives, salt and pepper.

Butter corn tortillas.  Layer in buttered, round Pyrex casserole dish in this order:

Tortilla
Sauce
Grated cheese

Repeat until the 6 tortillas are used, and pour the remaining sauce over all.

Pour 2/3 cup water at the edge of the casserole into the bottom.

Cover the top with the rest of the cheese. (We use Cheddar cheese)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Serves at least 6.

UNCLE CHUCK MURPHY’S SALSA
We used this on Christmas Eve, too.

1 packet Italian dressing mix                                    1 medium can chopped or sliced olives

1 small can diced green chili                                     3-4 green onions

2 fresh tomatoes, diced                                             cilantro to taste

1 large can diced tomatoes                                       1-2 cups grated Jack cheese

Empty diced tomatoes into a bowl.  Add dry Italian dressing mix, diced green chili (to taste), fresh diced tomatoes, olives, and green onions.  This mixture can sit in the refrigerator at least ½ hour or more to blend flavors.  Add cilantro and grated cheese just before serving.

I also found myself busy make Ham and Egg Souffle (that sets overnight)
to pop in the oven first thing in the morning.

HAM AND EGG SOUFFLE

1 dozen eggs                                                                    2 tsp. Salt

12 slices white bread                                                     3 c. cubed ham

4 c. milk                                                                           3 c. Cheddar cheese

1 ½  tsp. Dry mustard

Beat eggs until fluffy.  Cut crusts from bread: cube.  Place bread in a 9 x 14 inch Pyrex (buttered) dish.  Add 4 cups milk to eggs.  Dissolve l ½  teaspoons dry mustard in a little water and add to egg mixture.  Add salt and chopped ham: mix.  Pour over bread.  Let set overnight.  In the morning, add 3 cups Cheddar cheese as a topping and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

This was started by H. Aileen Calton (my mom) as a traditional Christmas morning breakfast.  Many family members now serve this with a cinnamon roll, orange slice, and orange juice, apple juice and/or hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Place it in the oven while the gifts are being opened and breakfast is ready at just the right time.

Note:  Aileen obtained the recipe when Carolyn was young in a Church Relief Society Visiting Teaching handout which was prepared for delivery to each ward (congregation) member by their Visiting Teachers.

Have a heartwarming and very Merry Christmas!
Carolyn

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

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Family Traditions: Out With the Bad, In With the Good

Our family traditions help create our family patterns

I contributed a chapter called THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY TRADITIONS to Jennifer Jones Smith’s book 12 Weeks to Greater Peace, Joy & Love in Your Family. I will be using some of those thoughts, along with some adaptations, here.

I wrote, “Traditions are a way of passing family values through the generations.  Because what happens at home extends into society and then into the world, it’s important that we examine patterns in our daily interactions with family members and carefully consider creating healthy traditions at home.  The words, thoughts and opinions of our family members, during daily living as well as during traditional holiday celebrations and events, have a great impact of our own feelings about who we are and what we have to contribute to our family and the world.  If our family patterns are uplifting and edifying, we tend to feel strengthened and view the family as important, loving, and a place we want to be.  If our repetitive patterns of interacting with each other are full of put-downs, sarcasm and prejudices, we have little or no desire to try to connect in meaningful ways again and, almost unknowingly because of repetitive exposure to distress and chaos we can begin to pass on unhealthy behavioral patterns to new generations because of the modeling that stems from our own family of origin.

OUT WITH THE BAD.  IN WITH THE GOOD.

… we can be very resistant to change.  However, it is well-worth examining our own [ways of interacting with family members and take a look at the ingrained patterns we’re establishing.  Let’s notice the way we relate to others and the way others relate to us.  When doing this with a sincere desire to improve, we can take an objective, rather than critical, view of ourselves and our relatives.  When we come to understand the truth of what is really happening, we position ourselves to make choices that foster our well-being and the highest good for all concerned.

Our feelings about ourselves shape our lives.  Many, if not most, people never question or take more than a superficial look at how they act and what they really do because it’s so familiar. By establishing healthy daily interactions, then when it comes to celebrating family seasonal traditions, individuals have something to look forward to and are left with feelings that each family member is important, cared about and valued by the others.  Thus, we establish healthy family bonds of love, mutual admiration and respect.  We also come to feel positive self-worth, and we notice an increase in our sense of family responsibility.

In homes spilling over with daily dysfunction, however, there are far too many family members who know, from past experience, that the upcoming seasonal traditions connected to a holiday celebration are nothing to “celebrate”.  In fact, the very thought of them triggers feelings of dread by many children due to former family patterns of adult neglect or abuse from which they feel there is no escape.  When destructive influences are present, homes become rampant with disrespect, criticism and shame. Children from such homes often feel bewildered, disillusioned or even hopeless and helpless.  In an all-too-common example where dad gets drunk and ends up verbally or physically abusing mom and/or the children.  It’s time to let go and eliminate these false “traditions of the fathers” and establish new traditions because “that which is familiar is not always that which is best”.

YOU CAN

Unless conscious choices are made to create change, history will tend to repeat itself in our family lines.  EACH INDIVIDUAL can be the change catalyst their family line has been waiting for.  Some, more than others, have heavier burdens to carry because of their families of origin, yet everyone has the capacity to create positive change from their own generation forward.  By living mindfully in our present moments, we can ALL overcome obstacles and be a positive influence.  We can continue making choices and establishing traditions that are uplifting, fun and encouraging to our family members, and we can eliminate those that are not.

I spoke of 2 types of traditions. 1) daily routines, and 2) holiday traditions.:

  1. Daily Routines

    Some of us fail to see our daily routines as being part of what can be considered “traditions of the fathers”, but if seen for the benefits they hold, these traditional routines can be a major source of stability, structure and add to feelings of safety and security within a home.

    Since my children were very young, I encouraged many traditional routine interactions. We say please and thank you, send holiday greeting cards and thank you notes when gifts are given, mail birth announcements when babies are born, knock on a family member’s door and wait for an answer before entering their room, and use courteous speech and respectful interactions with others.  We say our personal and family prayers, attend church weekly, say a blessing on the food to name a few. We worked on consistency, rather than perfection.  Each family member also had daily work-in-the-house or yard responsibilities. Now they are raised, some of my children have maintained these routines, and some have not.
  2. Seasonal Holiday Traditions

    Our holiday traditions were among our favorite times– beginning with decorations around the house and on the front door to match the season. When some of my children had moved away, it became a time of gathering the family back together.  We were by no means a perfect family, but to give you an idea of some of the more positive things that were part of our celebrations, I offer these thoughts.Music played almost constantly in our home.  I prepared traditional foods which create memorable smells and reminders of the familiar feeling of “home for the holidays”.  I tried to prepare by buying supplies a few weeks early and scheduling time on the calendar to pull out the plastic tubs of decorations from storage so all those involved in helping will not be surprised with last minute interruptions to their own plans. I hope that these elements of birthdays and other holiday celebrations, added to happy memories for my children.

Here are a few tips for establishing healthy, happy family patterns and traditions: (Some of which I learned the hard way)

DAILY:

  • Decide to integrate some specific, healthy, stabilizing daily routines.
  • Encourage healthy self-worth in each family member, including yourself, by avoiding negative comments and negative self-talk and criticism.
  • Don’t rush. Take time to validate the thoughts and feelings of children as well as adults.
  • Let go of any unrealistic expectations you may have of yourself or others.
  • “If you can’t turn the corners up, let the middle sag.”- Unknown
  • Have Courage. Use loving Diligence. Create Excellence.

SEASONAL TRADITIONS:

  • Remember that no family is perfect, so imperfection is part of every attempt while creating something new.
  • Be patient while you and your family try to achieve more harmony and happiness together.
  • Look for the good.
  • Capture memories with pictures, video and write about it in journals or scrapbooks.
  • Have fun! Laugh a lot. Create joyful memories.
  • Evaluate what went well and what didn’t. Integrate the success into your next event.  Build on that.

If this hasn’t been your pattern, TURN it around and take the first step in creating something new.

Worth Every Effort

With each new day comes new opportunities to create positive change.  Although we cannot control the actions of others, we do have influence in their lives.  I have found that it is worth every effort to consciously decide to create positive family patterns, traditions and wonderful memories by using the power of one’s own positive influence.  We thereby do our part to create positive change–which best serves our family today and also greatly benefits future generations.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out my class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

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Dead-end Traditions? A Tip to Use While Replacing Them

Dead-end traditions

Freedom from detrimental, dead-end traditions that stem from destructive generational patterns and beliefs makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress.  The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.

As mentioned in a previous post titled, Traditions That Help, Rather Than Hurt, Families, we want to find ways to preserve our past without compromising our present.  Sometimes that takes a change at the level of tradition, and breaking destructive traditions can seem like you are no longer loyal to the family—which can be extremely painful.  Sometimes breaking those patterns can feel like we’re abandoning the family rather than improving the family for the sake of the living as well as those yet to come into your family line. This too, must be seen in the light of truth, or the fear of abandonment can shut you down.

Some traditions that tear down rather than build up individuals and families are:

  • Any tradition in which control or dominion is exerted one against another individual or group
  • Traditions that breed addiction
  • Anything based on the power of force
  • Looking down on others due one’s so-called station in life, their ethnicity or feelings of superiority
  • Anything that breeds conflict one person or one group against another
  • Traditions that lead to prejudice, jealousy, hatred, lack of forgiveness, greed, and so forth
  • Traditions that foster harsh words and criticisms, contentions, bickering and sarcasm

In our busy world, some of our positive traditions are part of activities where we can spend meaningful, healthy, uplifting time with our family members.

Tip for keeping your mental focus while developing new traditions

Tip: Remember, you can love your family members AND be true to who you really are and to what you feel called to do. Think about the words Or / And.

What happens when it comes to ourselves and breaking destructive family traditions that may seem like family loyalty is that we often think in terms of “OR” rather than thinking about using the word “AND”.

Example of OR thinking:
Using the example of a family in which the addiction of alcoholism is present, an example of this would be thinking “I can either drink with my family OR be shunned and disconnected if I don’t.

Example of AND thinking:
An example of AND thinking would be considering, “I can spend time with my family AND I can choose to not drink myself.”

“OR” thinking is usually fear-based, and keeps you stuck in negative traditions.  It keeps destructive, non-productive patterns going strong.

“AND” thinking allows a person to break free and rise above destructive traditions and begin to thrive.  This begins to set positive patterns for the present and future generations to follow.  It gives family lines a chance that they may not have had without your courage and diligent effort which grows into your substantial, positive influence.  Just think of it!  YOURs may be the spark that ignites generations of power, and your courage and influence can make a profound difference in ways you do not see.

INspired Action Step

If this concept resonates with you and could positively impact your life, try this exercise:

1) Consider a painful, present-moment experience in which you feel stuck in a relationship or family tradition.
2) Write 5 sentences using the word OR in the middle, such as  _________ OR _________.  Example, “I can either drink with my family OR be shunned and disconnected if I don’t.”
3) Then, write 5 sentences using the word AND in the middle. Example, “I can spend time with my family AND I can choose to not drink myself.”

Remember, you can only choose how you show up and cannot control how another person responds or reacts to your choice.  Being centered and anchored in your own purpose and INtention, as reflected in your AND statements, will strengthen you as you carry on, come what may.

Be sure to watch for the Healing Your Family blog post titled, Family Traditions. Out With the Bad. In With the Good.  

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out my class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

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Traditions That Help, Rather Than Hurt, Families

Traditions and personal freedom

Traditions directly link to personal freedom. It would be wise to make choices connected to our traditions, that will help, and not hurt, ourselves and our families.  Freedom from destructive, dead-end generational patterns and beliefs makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress.  The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.

A word about tradition

Maybe you remember the movie Fiddler on the Roof.
An online film synopsis states that the movie “tells the life-affirming story of Tevye, a poor milkman [with five daughters] whose love, pride and faith help him face the oppression of turn-of-the century czarist Russia.  Set in 1905, their lives seemed as precarious as ‘a fiddler on the roof.”

In these memorable lines from the movie, Tevye says,

 “A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask, why do we stay up here if it’s so dangerous? We stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in a word—tradition!

Because of our traditions, we’ve kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka we have traditions for everything—how to eat, how to sleep, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl. This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradition start? I’ll tell you—I don’t know! But it’s a tradition. Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do.”

Help, don’t hurt

Because traditions become such an inherent part of us and they are followed and accepted, often without thinking about it, it may be hard to evaluate between their constructive or destructive impact in our lives.  They’re simply familiar!  We want to help and not hurt ourselves and others, therefore, it’s incumbent upon each of us to find ways to cherish and value positive traditions from our ethnic, cultural, or national heritages.  Yet, we must be mindful of those that tear down and destroy self-worth and relationships and find the courage and tenacity to create more positive results instead. This is what truly benefits humanity.  After all, isn’t it right that each generation improve and build better, brighter tomorrows as they stand on the shoulders of those who came before them?  Usually, that’s what our ancestors would want so that their sacrifices would not have been in vain.

Some traditions that tear down rather than build up individuals and families are:

  • Any tradition in which control or dominion is exerted one against another individual or group
  • Traditions that breed addiction
  • Anything based on the power of force
  • Looking down on others due one’s so-called station in life, their ethnicity or feelings of superiority
  • Anything that breeds conflict one person or one group against another
  • Traditions that lead to prejudice, jealousy, hatred, lack of forgiveness, greed, and so forth
  • Traditions that foster harsh words and criticisms, contentions, bickering and sarcasm

In our busy world, some of our positive traditions are part of activities where we can spend meaningful, healthy, uplifting time with our family members.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf puts it nicely when he says, “If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.” “Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together and cultivating treasured memories.”

Elevate your traditions

Making a break from the chains of false or destructive traditions can be hard. There can be naysayers and those who criticize or persecute. Some friends or family members may turn away or argue that you’re wrong—possibly causing self-doubts or fears.  But, I believe, that deep within us there is an inner knowing of what is ours to do, and if elevating a tradition for ourselves and future generations is part of our life’s mission, then we will find he wherewithal to stay the course.

When the effort to change traditions becomes hard, remember that at birth, your spirit came from the presence of God—as the poet Wordsworth says, “trailing clouds of glory”.  So, your ultimate Heritage of Wholeness comes from you being HIS son or HIS daughter. Therefore, the wisest course of action is to remain loyal to traditions that accurately reflect His teachings.  Those decisions will bring you true happiness and the greatest inner peace.

After all, we want to find ways to preserve our past without compromising our present.  Sometimes that takes a change at the level of tradition, and breaking destructive traditions can seem like you are no longer loyal to the family—which can be extremely painful.  Sometimes breaking those patterns can feel like we’re abandoning the family rather than improving the family for the sake of the living as well as those yet to come into your family line. This too, must be seen in the light of truth, or the fear of abandonment can shut you down.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

References:
[“Fiddler on the Roof,” in Great Musicals of the American Theatre, ed. Stanley Richards, vol. 1 (Radnor, Pennsylvania: Chilton Book Company, 1973), p. 393]

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

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Family Patterns: Where’s the HAPPY in Holidays?

Family Patterns

Are negative family patterns getting In the way of your “Happy” in Holidays and your “Merry” in Christmas?

As we each contemplate holiday celebrations, we may not be fully aware of family patterns (deep-seated beliefs) that might be sabotaging our thinking and getting in the way of our happiness.  This causes us to shrink away from our best expression of who we really are.

Are you shrinking away from your sense of self-worth?

There are some distinct family patterns that tend to cause us to shrink away from who we really are and have a destructive influence on our inner worth.

Freedom from destructive, dead-end generational patterns and beliefs makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress.  The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.

These deep-seated beliefs usually interfere with 3 distinct areas of our life, and often, we don’t see the connection.  The 3 areas are relationships, money, and our bodies.
They may come from spoken or unspoken teachings.

Using the area of RELATIONSHIPS, I’ve chosen to mention some destructive thinking patterns that may stem from our perceptions that can originate from our family patterns.

Underlying Family Patterns/Beliefs about Relationships

Take note of any the YOU may be believing:

Men hurt women or women hurt men
We need to be snappy or angry to be heard.
People can’t be trusted.
I’ll always be taken advantage of.
Husbands hurt wives (or visa versa), therefore, my husband (or wife) will hurt me.
Men don’t show up for women. (or vise versa)
I’m strong only if I do everything myself.
I have to be passive and dependent on a man to keep him
I feel alone, but it’s okay for my husband to be emotionally unavailable.
Nothing I do to work on my relationship will matter.
The best way to handle a relationship is to not trust, not speak up for myself and don’t acknowledge my feelings.

Here are some common beliefs about money

Having lots of money makes me successful.
Having lots of money makes me sinful.
God will punish me if I have too much money.
I’ll be greedy if I have too much money, so I would rather not have a lot.
There’s “not enough” (money)
Rich people are bad.
Poor people are bad.
I don’t deserve to have what I want.
If I don’t have a college education and great career, I have no value.
body (health, view of self, etc.)
I must look beautiful ( or be thin or exercise more than other people) or I’m not “good enough”
I need to look young to have value.
People who are sick are weak.
People who are sick get attention.
Thin people are bad.
Heavy people are bad
Pretty girls get in trouble.
Beautiful people aren’t smart.

Did you notice any of those patterns that you may be continuing to pass on? Are they interfering with your happiness as you contemplate upcoming celebrations with family or friends.  Are any of these beliefs about yourself dragging you down emotionally?  Are you setting yourself up for history to repeat itself?

Unless conscious choices are made to create a different reality, history will tend to repeat itself in our family lines.  We ALL can be positive in our influence, but it takes work.  EACH INDIVIDUAL can be the change catalyst their family line has been waiting for.  Some, more than others, have heavier burdens to carry because of their families of origin.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

green header Family Tree Friday Healing Heartache in Family Lines with URLs

Holiday Time and Traditions of the Fathers

Holiday time- What’s it like for you?

Holiday time can be an amazing and fun time…or not.  Memories of “Christmas Past” can help us or haunt us—depending upon our life experiences, many of which have to do with our families of origin.

As we touched on in a previous post titled Family Trees- Inter-generational Patterns and You, our family systems have a huge effect on our belief systems—which influence how we spend the holidays and what we do in our traditional celebrations.

Traditions of the Fathers

The values and beliefs we pick up from those in our family line who went before us are often referred to as “the traditions of the fathers”.  These traditions are family patterns.  In other words, their values, thought patterns and habit patterns have had an influence on us.  Because everyone is human, their influence usually includes both positives and negatives in different proportions for each individual.

As you may know, on the internet, I am known as Family Tree Gal.  I love to say, “As we value our history, it becomes clear how we can become our best, most happy and capable selves.  We learn what personal character traits contribute to strong, safe, secure family relationships, and, in contrast, we can see what detracts from and destroys them.  This knowledge helps us develop a healthy concern about contributing positively to the future of our own family line.”

family tree gal quote yellow-orange graphic by Carolyn Calton

INfluence

Most families have within them combinations of good influences as well as areas that need lots of improvement.  Some family patterns and traditions influence us for good such as traditions of families gathering together for happy holiday celebrations, or saying please and thank you and treating yourself and others with kindness and respect.  We can develop patterns of patriotism, faith, prayer and qualities of character such as honesty, trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, caring and civility.

 Some family patterns get in our way

In contrast to happy Christmas celebrations, there are those children who may even be adults now, that get sick to their stomach knowing a family celebration is coming, because, let’s say for example,  Dad gets drunk and, although things are okay for awhile, he ends up abusing [either verbally or physically] mom and/or the children.

Children begin to take on personal beliefs that are out of alignment with their true identity as a child of God with a divine nature and purpose for living and contributing to their family and humanity.  Their inner worth is affected in serious ways. Using the example above, they may begin to believe, for instance, that

  • they don’t matter or
  • they are not important or
  • what they see as “love” draws them to conclude that “love” hurts
  • or that men can’t be trusted,

Some patterns of thinking and being that result from these influences become habits and may be so familiar to us that they are not even called into question.  Any consistent action that leads to prejudice, jealousy, hatred, lack of forgiveness, greed and other negative energies would fall into this category.  Frequent harsh words and criticisms, contentions, bickering and sarcasm can become what we view as normal in family relationships if that’s what we’re constantly exposed to in the environment at home.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  That class was created especially for highly frustrated or deeply discouraged men and women who have experienced the disruptive ripple effects of divorce (as an adult or child), mistreatment, addiction or abuse that has touched their lives, their family or is found anywhere in their family lines.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Family Traditions. ReNEW YOU Red Healing Heartache In Family Lines Header with URLs

SELF-WORTH- You Matter, No Matter What

Self-worth.  You Matter.  No Matter What!

No matter our heritage, one way or another, we all seem to learn who we’re NOT before we remember who we really are. There are hundreds of thousands of experiences and daunting challenges that chip away consistently at our perception of our self worth and sense of personal value.

It is my belief that every child, every person that comes into the world has the potential to make a difference!  Every child, every person matters.  And the worth of every child, every person is of infinite worth to the Creator of the unique and self-governing spirit within each one of us—the spirit that gives us life.

So, though it’s important to remember that each of us can make a difference, whether large or small, and feel great satisfaction and joy through sincerely and empathetically using the power of our positive influence, It is vital that we each remember that our worth is not determined by what we’ve done.  We have worth because of who we ARE to our Creator.  We have worth just because we exist.

Brown Mountains with quote on top by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Spiritual Vitality Tip: Create a bountiful harvest of goodness.

Dieter Uchtdorf has said, “Perhaps you don’t consider yourself all that useful; perhaps you don’t consider yourself a blessing in somebody’s life.  Often, when we look at ourselves, we see only our limitations and deficiencies.  We might think we have to be “more” of something for God to use us—more intelligent, more wealthy, more charismatic, more talented, more spiritual.  Blessings will come not so much because of your abilities but because of your choices. And the God of the universe will work within and through you, magnifying your humble efforts for his purposes.  How encouraging it is to know, though we are imperfect, if our hearts are turned to God, He will be generous and kind and use us for His purposes.  No matter your position in your community…, God will use you, if you are wiling.  He will magnify your righteous desires and turn the compassionate actions you sow into a bountiful harvest of goodness.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out my class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings. linked to

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Dead-end traditions. ReNEW YOU Healing Heartache green header with picture of a family tree

Family Trees: Inter-generational Patterns and You

Personal and Family freedom:  Heal yourself to heal your Family

Freedom from destructive, dead-end generational patterns and beliefs makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress.  The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.

Especially at holiday time where traditions take center stage:

Do know that family patterns and belief systems are at work influencing your life today?

How is that so?

Why does it matter?

Parents influence our habits, skills, values, language, mannerisms, the way we treat others and more. Our ancestors have passed down their own perceptions about life, love and happiness (among a myriad of other things) to their children for many generations.  Whether we know it or not, we are influenced by their ways of thinking, behaving and believing.

How Your Inter-generational Family Influences Your Life Today

It’s important to recognize that we all have perceptions in our present day that have largely been influenced by our inter-generational family. These include perceptions about people, relationships, education, service, religion, devotions to family, devotion to country, and so forth. These perceptions are like seeds that grow into our family patterns and belief systems.

In her book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, Karol Truman said, “The perceptions that created our beliefs, and the degree to which they were validated, soon determined the PATTERN, or the road map, which we have followed throughout our life.”

Why It Matters

Your own perceptions of life, love and happiness then influence every daily choice you make.  Like smooth stones cast into a perfectly still lake, your choices, both positive and negative, influence many generations after you through their ripple effect. What happens in your home then extends to society and impacts society and the world, therefore, it is imperative that you pay attention to what happens in your home.

I once penned this little verse:
Secure the home, secure society.
Stabilize the home, stabilize society.
Don’t let chaos reign supreme.
~Carolyn Calton

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This blog post excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Create a Bountiful Harvest of Goodness in Your Family

My Yearly Harvest-time Tip:
Create a bountiful harvest of goodness.  Yes, you!

Dieter F, Uchtdorf has said, “Perhaps you don’t consider yourself all that useful; perhaps you don’t consider yourself a blessing in somebody’s life.  Often, when we look at ourselves, we see only our limitations and deficiencies.  We might think we have to be “more” of something for God to use us—more intelligent, more wealthy, more charismatic, more talented, more spiritual.  Blessings will come not so much because of your abilities but because of your choices. And the God of the universe will work within and through you, magnifying your humble efforts for his purposes.  How encouraging it is to know, though we are imperfect, if our hearts are turned to God, He will be generous and kind and use us for His purposes.  No matter your position in your community…, God will use you, if you are wiling.  He will magnify your righteous desires and turn the compassionate actions you sow into a bountiful harvest of goodness.

If you need help getting a grip by discovering or revitalizing your inner sense of self-worth, check out this class training:  Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E.
1) The COMPLETE class is designed for deeply discouraged or highly frustrated men and women who have experienced the disruptive ripple effects of divorce, mistreatment, addiction and/or abuse in themselves (as a child or adult), or in their family or family lines.
2) The MINI CLASS zeros in on the basics of elevating thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns.
Check out all my class offerings by CLICKING HERE.

 

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

emotional vitality tip of the day on dark blue background

ReNEW YOU: Every Small Step Matters

ReNEW YOU Emotional Vitality Tip:  Every Small Step Matters!

In 2014 on my blog, I noted: “Today I learned through my experience that sometimes when we feel stuck we just haven’t created neural pathways for what we are doing yet. Just forge ahead, the pathways will be created and things will become easier.” – Carolyn Calton

This really is true. I’m so glad to be further and further away from the trauma toxic relationships can create. The power of free choice combined with the power of God and the powers within our bodies to rewire and heal are absolutely amazing.  I’m experiencing it, and I can tell the difference.

To any of my friends who suffer from Post Traumatic Stresss or who have loved ones that suffer, please know that there is so much hope. Just take one step at a time. We may want to rush progress, but just taking one small step in the right direction makes ALL the difference!

Your influence, even through hardship, will ignite the power of generations!  Don’t give up!  There are others who need the example of your courage.  You may never really know the positive ripple effect of each small step you take.  I INcourage you to take one small step in the direction of your dreams today.  May God bless and sustain you as you do.

To your happiness,
Carolyn

Need helpful information and classes, small group support, coaching or more? Check out the services I offer by CLICKING HERE.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.