Sometimes I think that it is the fact that I have spent so much time being so far from my family that gives me the rose-colored glasses through which I view holidays. Some people hate them, or enter them grudgingly, at best. But I love them. A lot! And I think maybe I am the only one, sometimes. There are a lot of complaints out there. And that’s fair enough, too. But I can’t relate.
Really i just love “the holidays”, the massive conglomerate of sparkle and shine that adorns the last months of the year. I love Thanksgiving, and parts one and two of Christmas (eve and day, of course). Maybe it’s because as much as I could say my family is dysfunctional, for the most part it…kind of isn’t anymore. At least not now, and not in a way that is worth talking about, not in ways that top the totem pole of “wow your family really DOES suck” that I feel sometimes when talking to other people and hearing their melange of crazy or sad stories of the terrible or hurtful people who they must share the dinner table with. My family is nice. We love each other. We aren’t inseparable but there is a lot of like there. There are a lot of us in the extended bits, and a lot of people I don’t see any more, and a lot of old people who I really loved who aren’t around anymore, and who I love talking about and hearing about and sharing stories about when we all DO find the time and place to get together and reminisce.
For me it is sad to be so far away, and maybe it is the being so far away for so long, and having missed so many Thanksgivings and Christmases due to international wanderings, that makes me think fondly of the days on the whole. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, etc etc. I miss sitting on my mom’s couch all day long, mainlining crappy movies while she blinks herself awake next to me, and going back for seconds and thirds of all the tasty offerings, the mashed potatoes and the green bean casserole in particular. How she cracks the tin of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the morning as well, a decadent start to a long day of gluttony. Talking to my sister and watching my niece run around like a crazy person. Chatting about the floats in the Macy’s parade over the first of several cups of coffee. Just sort of existing in the same space as my blood, not doing anything particularly interesting, and enjoying the monotony of it all.
Today Jon and I didn’t do anything really traditional. He’s never had a real Thanksgiving in America, with Americans. Not yet. We both took the day off work anyway, but only used that time off to sleep late and eventually do some grocery shopping for the big celebration we have planned for tomorrow, with friends. I watched way too many episodes of Doctor Who. I missed my parents and my sister, and watched the continuous flow of gratitude and food posts rolling in on facebook and instagram. And now it’s late and time for sleep and I’ll admit it-I’m a little homesick, right at this very moment.
There are so many arguments to be made at this time of year, around the issues of consumerism, materialism, capitalism-so many isms! But I still wish I could be home, what home will always be, and with all of my people. Every last one. All in one place.