'Tis the season
to see your family
Two years ago, my brother and I had a Christmas Eve sleepover. Though we weren’t able to go home for Christmas, we were lucky enough to be living in the same city and wanted to wake up in the same place on Christmas morning. We made the customary French toast casserole and alternated opening presents with the video versions of our sister in Texas and our parents in Florida. It was a far cry from being together, but we made the best of it.
This year, despite the usual weather threats, the whole family will gather as normal in the house we grew up in. There will be bickering, misunderstandings, maybe even a joke taken too far, but mostly there will be relief and good cheer. With five of us spread across three states, Christmas has become one of the few guaranteed annual reunions for our family.
As the pandemic previewed, this won’t always be the case, and the further we “kids” get into our 30s, the more unusual it is that we’re all able to make it home for a few days in December. In the coming years, our individual families will grow and long-held customs will merge and evolve. Holiday hosts will rotate, video chats will continue to fill in the gaps, and we’ll start saying “remember when…”.
So I’m holding on to tradition this year, taking in the smell of pine while looking out at the pool. It’s not perfect, it never is, but it’s still home. Make it a good one, wherever you celebrate.