Christmas brings families together

Families come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. However, during the Christmas holidays, larger families, especially those with children living out-of-state, have one-of-a-kind ways of making the hectic holiday schedules special.

Steve and Juli Mills, of Brookhaven, have learned to appreciate and manage the different aspects of large family, not only during the Christmas season, but year-round as well.

The Mills have been married for over 33 years and have six children: Laurie, 30, Mary Claire, 28, Sarah Beth, 25, Jennings, 22, Caroline, 17, and Julianna, 16. In addition, the couple also has two grandchildren: Phinley, 2, and Grayleigh, 4 months.

Juli Mills shared that with several of her children living out-of-state or several hours away, planning ahead of time is key in managing any large family’s holiday itinerary.

“You have to learn how to be flexible, especially during the holidays,” Mills said.

Mills added her daughter Mary Claire lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, her daughter Laurie lives in Madison, her son Jennings lives in Starkville and her daughter Sarah Beth will soon be moving as well. She said it is helpful when she can plan and cook ahead at every chance it ensures that, when her family gathers, they can all enjoy a quality experience with each other and enjoy it.

The Mills make sure their children are all always connected to one another and getting along by making it a family priority to pray and openly talk with each other every holiday. When they gather, they normally have a Christian devotional of some sort followed by a prayer. Afterwards, they try to encourage one another in all they do.

Mills explained, “We do a devotional of some substance where we can look to the New Year and try to think of an area to grow spiritually in.”

Mills credits the closeness and happiness with her family’s Christian faith and God.

“The greatest tool the Lord can use is a strong Christian family,” Mills said “We desire for that to truly be the foundation in our lives.”

 

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