It’s the Family Time of Year

There’s an infographic going around on Facebook. I think it cuts neatly through the clutter of this time of year to the real heart of the matter: there is more to this time of year than Christmas. Now I don’t mean to diminish the Christmas holiday in the slightest. But consider for a minute that there are 51 (and no, I’m not counting Festvus or the Feast of Alvis) holidays between November first and January 15th. Only about half of those are tied to the Christian Faith. Many of these holidays are secular, like Thanksgiving and Guy Fawkes Day. And while it might be difficult to see that these disparate days have anything in common, consider that it’s the end of the calendar year. It gets dark sooner, especially if you live in a place where Daylight Savings Time is still a thing. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s colder. The growing season is long past, and harvest time is winding up. This is traditionally the time of home, hearth, and family. The season that causes us to bundle up in our fleece blankets in front of our fireplaces and eat delicious cookies while listening to our inherited vinyl records on our new record players.

You know what’s better than curling up alone to do those things? Having family and friends over and nesting with them. My Friendsgiving was cancelled this year because one of our friends is out on tour promoting her first book. So instead, we’re going to have a Favorite Outfit Party this month. This party probably won’t purposely fall on any actual holiday, but it’ll still be during the ‘Holiday Season’. The theme is exactly what you think it is - everybody wears their favorite outfit. At some point, we all discuss why what we’ve worn is our fav. I’m probably going to debut my pink fuzzy slippers, spiderweb Halloween fleece pants, and horrible pink fleece jacket. It’s the equivalent of a comforting bathrobe. I’m guessing that somebody actually will wear a bathrobe. Your favorite outfit is just that. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the combination of clothes you would reach for first, if everything in your wardrobe was clean.

But back to the holidays and family. I had a conversation recently with someone about the holidays and she told me how she felt pressure to interact with those people to whom she’s biologically related. They use emotional blackmail and all sorts of awful things that have no place anywhere, and I told her (among other things) that biology doesn’t choose your family. You choose your family. That’s part of becoming an adult. You get to choose. And you can choose what biology gave you and actually choose your family, because sometimes that’s the greatest gift of all. To me, that’s the best part of the holidays - spending time with the people and animals you care about. Well you know, that and the pie!

Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2015