Monday, December 5, 2011

Family Holidays

{Post: 336/365}
I asked my friend for a topic suggestion and he asked what the meaning and importance of a family holiday is.
Now, I am thinking about all the occasions over the years that I have shared with my family from childhood forward into my own children. 
Why do we create holidays that we want most to share with our families and close friends?
Putting all religious aspects or origins of each holiday that we do celebrate aside what IS it that keeps us trying year after year (even though many of us have dysfunctional, damaged and fractured families that just don't get along ) to have a family get together, party, celebration or dinner where we all share food, music, gifts and good company.
I can only suggest that we all want the same things in life...
A place to belong.
A family to belong to.
Unconditional love.
I think as we get older sometimes some of these things get lost in the shuffle of life.
When I was a child I remember either/or both Thanksgiving and Christmas at my grandmother's house. Sometimes this would include the whole family of six siblings and each of their spouses and children (uncles, aunts and cousins) ALL either sitting down to dinner or just having a buffet meal together. Sometimes we would also have Easter dinner together. Usually the aunts, my mom and nanny had control of the kitchen and the men in the house would visit in the living room, sometimes playing music, kids running around the house like the chaotic whirlwinds they are! ;) I LOVED the time when they played music and I miss that because it's something that was gone for years even before nanny and grandpa left us. :( But, the years when grandpa played his banjo or the fiddle were the BEST! The aunts and my mom would play guitars too and sing. It is sad when these beautiful aspects of life with a large family get lost because life moves on and it is not always easy to get everyone to the same place at the same time anymore. I think that we strive to have happy holiday moments to CONTINUE as best we can these beautiful, deep, rich, FULL moments of our childhoods and BUILD them anew into our own families.
It is why we create traditions and try to continue them on through the years. Maybe so much of life changes that keeping one or two CONSTANT traditions give us the CONTINUITY we need.
For ME...FOOD is a big part of the celebration and joy of family.
My nanny was a nurturer. Always feeding us. Always baking. Always goodies, home made bread, tea and snacks and good dinners. I think we were spoiled because she was a baker. (I grew up to work in a bakery-it makes me smile inside because I never imagined I would be happy in that kind of job but the truth is it was the BEST one I ever had and I think much if it has to do with it making me feel more connected to her and understanding her better.) She was the sweetest lady I ever knew and I miss her. My mom continues a family tradition of good food, good company and good times on holidays every year even though sometimes it is hard for her and she gets tired of the work. So we have sit down dinners less often now and buffet meals more often but still we can enjoy a few hours of laughter and companionship with each other. I know that when and if the time comes I will need to step up and be the one who continues family holidays if only to give us all a CONSTANT meeting place of home and a space to recharge for life. (Sometimes I do this already when she needs a break lol)
I have been making my own Christmas dinner for my friends and family every year since the first one I was out on my own. It is IMPORTANT to me to feed them and spoil them and share a lovely evening together with them because THIS is my way to give them MY home. My way to let them know that they ARE my home. They are everything that IS good and beautiful in it so why would it NOT be important to me to give them all the things that make me ME? I don't need special holidays to do this. None of us really do. EVERY DAY is a good day to appreciate, share, GIVE, LOVE and BE with your loved ones but most of us like holidays because they give us a REASON to set life aside for a little while and MAKE the really important things matter the most! It's the way it always should be but we get lost in the shuffle and busy and speed of our lives and work and lack of real time so a holiday is a good time to TAKE or MAKE the time for each other.
So many things get lost over time that I believe it IS very important to do our best to KEEP family holidays and get togethers as a means to CONTINUE lessons and traditions on to our children and their children and so on.
I think I'm feeling especially sad this holiday because I miss my daughter who lives on the east coast of Canada now and is VERY far away and my oldest son is also out on his own and doing his own thing. I only have the baby at home with me now and he is getting older so holidays are changing for us again and I want to hold onto the old traditions! I guess it is time to create some NEW ones!
Family and holidays mean a LOT to me and I am sad every time something gets lost in the transitions of life but I can keep all the beautiful memories and there will always be NEW ones to create!
Here is to you and yours from me and mine. Cherish the moments!

No comments:

Post a Comment