Home For The Holidays
Same Old Thing Every Year!
Here We Go Again!
Most people look forward to being home for the holidays, anticipating the great food, giving and receiving gifts, and seeing loved ones they haven't seen for months. They throw themselves into Christmas shopping, cleaning the house, planning menus, and wrapping gifts to make the Christmas holiday special and memorable.
Finally the big day arrives and the family members arrive from various corners of the country and sometimes from various corners of the globe. How exciting to finally be together again! "My! You haven't aged a bit!", "You've grown so much!", and "Come give Grandma a hug!" are all commonly heard as the family reunites. Guests are shown to their rooms "Mom, do I get my old room?", platters of food are delivered to the kitchen, and gifts are placed under the tree. The aroma of roasting turkey drifts through the house and mingles with the scent of cinnamon candles. The children are already checking out the gifts, looking to see how many have their name on them.
Finally it's time to sit down to Christmas lunch (or dinner, depending on the family tradition). Everyone digs in and things are going well. Before long though, Uncle Peter starts bragging on his promotion at work, shooting Uncle Mark a look. Uncle Mark gets defensive and shares his latest success. Aunt Mary then accuses Mark of being childish and cousin Abigail defends Uncle Mark. Cousin Tim tells cousin Abigail to stay out of it, and before you know it, "we're off to the races!" The kids giggle at the obvious tension at the table, and Grandpa is oblivious as he serves himself another heaping portion of mashed potatoes. Grandma's eyes fill up with tears, and Mom hops up to refill the mashed potato bowl. Dad rolls his eyes and lets out a long and loud sigh...
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation at holiday celebrations? Somehow, we don't seem to struggle with anyone all year until we go home for the holidays. Suddenly our old, long grown-out-of behaviors resurface and we act like we did when we were kids. Being together seems to bring out the worst in each other, these people that we love and would defend to the death, should anyone outside the family attack them!
Here are some things to remember:
Respect for each member of the family is essential, and understanding that we're all equals and important in the family will keep the conflict to a minimum. Remembering times when the family struggled together to face difficult circumstances can bring unity, as well as highlighting each others' positive points instead of criticizing each other. Allowing family members the freedom to be a part of the family unit but also room to be individuals with their own views and lifestyle will go a long way in keeping the peace. Sometimes no response is the best response when one family member tries to stir things up-letting them throw out their unkind remarks, with no response or acknowledgment can cause them to realize that no one wants to dance that dance.
Happy Holidays to all and take heart, we all get to go back to our respective homes!
(This Hub is in no way referring to any members of my family! Just sayin'...)