Like many people in this crazy world I come from a divorced family. Which if you ask the right people means that my life is doomed to a series of hollow feelings and disappointments (the same people who think gay people marring will destroy the universe). I can’t speak for everyone else but I might be an exception to that rule as I have not suffered any doom just yet. In fact its been so long that I have adjusted to the multiple house shuffle for the holidays.
Christmas for my family is more of an Iron Man competition. For instance last night I was at my fathers house in Michigan, this morning I find out what “Santa” brought me with my mother in Ohio, then its off to my fathers again, often with a stop at my grandmas house (before my fathers mother died that meant two houses), don’t forget to squeeze in all the other holiday fun times and you can see that you have to be very strong to even think about surviving.
Just because my family is split does not mean that it isn’t exactly like yours. I have that crazy uncle just like you, I have the overbearing grandmother, just like you, I even have the cousins and siblings that are getting married young, just like you. The world seems so divided these days by war, religion, and politics, but really when it comes to insane relatives, we are all the same.
As a non-religious person I really cant get into the whole baby Jesus part of Christmas, but I do enjoy seeing my family, if only once a year. Its a time to check up on everybody and confirm that they are all still weird and crazy just like you left them.
It’s funny how certain things that used to bother you become strange comforts. My step mom still smokes, my mother still freaks out about having the house clean enough for her mother. My brothers and sisters still fight like crazy, my uncle and cousins still drink too much. I still get cranky when they wake me up too early on Christmas day. It sounds horrible, but to me its family. To me its the comforting sea of normality in this crazy world. I don’t know who said it but whoever said “the world is crazy, so I am normal” must have been talking about my family.
Southern Michigan and Ohio will never win any beauty pageants for its winter vistas, but when you grow up with the flat and desolate, you come to yearn for the flat and desolate. Its not Christmas to me without acre after acre of dead fields, and wind swept views. There are actual seasons in this part of the world. Spring is not just a cooler summer, winter not just a rainy fall. There may be a sense of the timeless as far as my family quirks are concerned, but I can always count on mother nature to provide me with some evidence of change.
Time marches on. In fact it seems as if its march has only gotten faster as I get older. It’s important that we remember this. Take time to enjoy the crazy, insane, and weird members of your family. Make sure you love and enjoy them to the fullest. Time never stops in its relentless march forward, but that doesn’t mean that we cant take a little break from our own hurried lives to enjoy the friends and family around us. To love and be loved is the real reason for the season.
To everyone I love and who loves me, happy holidays, and a have a glorious new year!