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The Joy of Family and Friends
Joy is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it as a deep feeling or condition of happiness.
Its also decribed as something that causes a source of happiness.
As the end of the year draws near we often refocuses our attention on the joy of family. Regardless of what’s going in the world around us, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas give us that much needed change of pace and realignment to celebrate those we are closest too.
It’s quite interesting to consider all the wonderful aspects of why our family brings us joy. Some of these include family traditions, the special way we communicate, bond, support and accept each other.
The Joy of Family Traditions
The joy of family is often realized in the wonderful family traditions that we hold so dear. It may be the special way our mother, sister or uncle prepares the family turkey when everyone is in town.
It may be how all the guys get together hoot and holler during the Thanksgiving Day NFL game and carry on as if their very lives depended on its outcome.
It can be the way we all gather around the tree on Christmas Eve eating cookies and drinking milk or eating and drinking whatever fits your tradition. In and of themselves these activities are not exceptionally unique, but during the end of the year celebrations they have a terrific and brilliant way of tapping into our joy of family.
Who doesn’t remember the joy of family board game competitions with the guys against the girls or the adults versus the kids! It’s a great reminder of how family traditions can help rekindle the great feelings of joy relating to our families.
The words we used to express ourselves with family play an important role as well.
The Joy of Family Communications
Another interesting phenomenon tends to take place when family, holidays and fun blend together. As family get together nicknames and pet names suddenly are brought back to life. Maybe it could it be the sister who is now a successful executive who enthusiastically answers to her play name “Sissie” when the adult kids call to her.
Or is it the nephew that gets a thrill from his favorite uncle who still calls him Captain rather than his real first name? Without any prior arrangement the unique and clever ways of communicating with our family just fall back into place.
We find comfort and joy in knowing that only certain people know how to communicate in this informal way and that we actually enjoy it within this particular context.
In most circumstances these names would be considered quite undesirable but when we are celebrating with family during this time of year a distinctive since of enjoyment comes from hearing names such as Missy, Hoss, Little man, Big man and many others that only our family clan were allowed to know and communicate with us.
The Joy of Family and Friends
Especially during the holidays there are numerous opportunities to connect with our families, neighbors and friends. Of course we can’t forget the thought of giving and sharing around the dining room table, on the living room floor or perhaps at the great local restaurant.
This particular joy is all about the energy, love and fun of neighbors and family giving time and attention to make everyone feel great about being back in the neighborhood for the holidays.
It’s the perfect time to catch up with those who were a part of our childhood reconnecting with them as adults.
Finding Joy in the Effort
There are many expressions of joy that would be appropriate to speak of here. However the main idea of this conversation is the common denominator of joy and family in whatever positive form that is particular to you.
Obviously, every holiday gathering with family isn’t without its stress or challenge. Sometimes figuring out all the moving parts with cousins, extended family and in-laws can be a tall order.
I would submit however that the effort and reward of finding that joy far outweighs any downside.
So, can you imagine what this year’s version of sharing joy with your family will be like? Will you start a new tradition or revive an old one?
Perhaps it will be discovering a new aspect of connecting, sharing and enjoying your family. Maybe you’ll try your hand in the kitchen to help with cooking, or you’ll be the relative that rounds the kids up for movie night that becomes an ongoing tradition.
Whatever it ends up being, be thankful that you have the opportunity to realize the joy of family!