Thursday, December 3, 2015

What do the Holidays Mean For You?

My immediate family is pretty small. I have 1 sister, my Mother has 1 sister and my Father has 2 brothers and a half brother. When I was growing up, I had the joyful blessing of spending the holidays with my extended family. 
My maternal Grandma was one of 8 siblings, and most of those had more than 2 children, so my Mother has loads of cousins. I had the extreme blessing of my Great Grandma until I was 18 years of age (something rather unheard of) and so until she passed, we had a huge family holiday celebration at her home. 
For me, that came to define the holidays. Family. Optimally, lots of family crammed in a home that just barely large enough to contain them all. 

After my Great Grandma passed away, the celebrations got smaller as we didn't get together with my Mom's cousins any longer, but now I had 2 cousins and we still had that warm family feeling. Over the years, we had a few different iterations of inviting friends that were like family to join one holiday meal or another. 

Time changes as all things do, and I remain the "last man standing" in the midwest as all the rest of the family have moved to warmer climates. Luckily, I have the new blessing of my husband's family which is robust on both his Mom's and his Dad's side. We still have a holiday meal filled with family around a table where you're bumping elbows with your neighbor and making bad jokes. 

But I always think back to those Holidays at Grandma Brieschke's. I long for the whole family to be in one place, and I wish that things didn't have to change. My Mom and Sister tend to be the weepy ones in the family, but every year around this time, I find myself getting misty at warm family movies and commercials. 

What comes up for you around the Holidays? I'd love to hear your stories!  

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