Posts Tagged ‘friends as family’

Holidays Sans Family

December 25, 2009

Well, another “Baby’s First” for me… here I am, having just turned <i>mumblety-three</i>, and this is the FIRST Christmas morning ever where I have been totally alone. Last year, Daughter Person showed up around 10am and spent the rest of the day with me.  This year?  Alone.

yeah, but without the annoying kid or the crooks in the window

I say this, not to elicit sympathy or support, but merely as statement of fact.  I’m okay with this.  It’s all part of the transition process.  Christmases can never be the same as they were, really.

Drawing on the example of the delightfully delicious Daisyfae, I have been taking the morning alone to reminisce a bit.

Christmas as a kid, I grew up near the family farmhouse.  Then, there were very few family members who were not living within a 50 mile distance.  The holidays were a mass of humanity, from babies to ancients.  Not being sexist, but the ‘farm family’ mentality was that the womenfolk did the cooking and the menfolk did the farm work.  And could those women cook!  Yes, the standard ‘meat and ‘taters’, but the desserts and side dishes were to die for.  Grandma and Grandpa had one of those nifty farm tables that started six foot by three feet, but had enough insert leaves to require killing at least one tree and would extend to some 24 feet long at least.  And still that was not enough to hold the entire family.  It was barely enough to hold all the over-21 adults.  The rest of us were relegated to the next room where the older teenagers got to sit at the deputy, adjacent, assistant dining room table and the younger kids (which I qualified for) seated at one of three or so card tables set up nearby.  It was delightful and comforting and…home.

Then, the ‘globalization’ of America hit.  People started moving all over the country to go to jobs they wanted.  We lost that family feel at holiday times.  It was still a good time, but not quite as all-encompassing as it once was.

I, too, followed jobs across the country and, starting my own family, had quite a few holidays at my own home with very few people.  It was still wonderful, especially when the Boy and Girl Childs were younger and still mesmerized by the magic of Christmas.  Yet, I still missed the old extended family holidays.  Even when going to where I grew up or where the ex- grew up to be with the remnants of the families, it wasn’t the same.

Maybe that was all part of the training for me to face this day.  I probably could’ve finagled an invite to one of my cousins’ places.  But there’s still that thing about not being the same as the extended family dinners way back when.

And I’m doing okay with it.  A few twinges, of course, but I’m not despairing or melancholy.

Besides, I won’t be alone all day long.  I have been invited by Dear Friend to go hang at her house later today and will definitely take her up on that.  Not because I’m feeling lonely at Christmas, but because it will be just a good time with people I enjoy hanging out with.

You make ‘family’ wherever you can.  And I am content with how today will unfold.

May this post find your holidays fulfilling and happy for you.