When you change-up a routine, you can experience something completely different and also exactly the same. That’s what happened to me this holiday season.
My family holiday traditions are fairly constant. I’ve written about them before, like in the Christmas Tree Saga of ’08 or ’10. This year because of work commitments I went home to Michigan for Thanksgiving and my folks and sister came to my house for Christmas. This was different, would it work, would there be enough space in my house?
My Mom’s cousin, Father Joe, drove a couple of hours over for lunch one day. They talked about family, reminiscing about people and stories from a long time ago. Then, he’d stop and just look around in wonder that he was actually seeing us. My sister and I mused about what we would talk about at future family gatherings. This was different.
My Dad made his famous homemade fettuccine dish. Noodles from scratch and the simple cream sauce is just heaven. This was the same.
We used Skype for the first time to connect with the other two family units. Seeing them and talking to them made it a more personal holiday call than just via phone alone. Seeing the kids playing with their presents and talking about them, you see the light and excitement in their eyes. Maybe we can keep up these video calls, to keep this more personal form of communication going. This was different.
And then, when it’s time for a break, we can all sit around the living room and read a book or a newspaper or an iPad and just be; be content, be quiet, be together. With family, you can be yourself, you can be happy, you can be moody, you can be incredulous, you can be laughing at them and you can be laughing with them. It’s also a sure bet that you’ll be teased by them. This was the same.
The best thing about my holiday was that amidst all the new logistics, fun visits, great food, I could also just be!