The holidays begin!

 For many of us, it's the holiday season. 

The kickoff to Christmas for me has always been American Thanksgiving. Probably because all of the commercials for toys and presents really ramp up right about now. Oh! And remember the Sears Wish Book? That always came out about now. The bible of consumerism would show up and I would spend hours going through it. Circling what I wanted for Christmas. Planning my future house through the household section. Picturing what I was going to look like when I was a working adult. It was a nice distraction from whatever else was going on. 

Hannukah is also this week, a little earlier than normal. The eight crazy nights start on Sunday, November 28th and end on December 6th. When I was 11 I had a friend named Arthur. He was the first observant Jewish friend I ever had. Every day at school during Hannukah, he would bring us treats and he taught us how to play dreidel. 

For many, the holiday season carries more stress than it does for the rest of us. Along with the usual time constraints, budgetary concerns, and overeating, there is the additional complication of having to spend time with family that doesn't feel like family. 

We all have family difficulties. Little disagreements or being forced to spend time with people you have almost nothing in common with. Stilted conversation, awkward silences, the familial side-eye. Rumor has it that there are families out there where everyone gets along. No feels like they don't belong, and the food is good. That isn't the case for everyone. 

For some of us, chosen families are the people we spend time with, where the unconditional love actually comes from. These people are the ones we relax with. The ones we tell our secrets to, the ones we contact when good and bad things happen. I consider myself lucky in this regard. I have a great combination of both of these worlds. 

For those that are still searching for their families, know that they are out there waiting for you. I know what feeling alone is, I know what it's like to feel like the people who are supposed to support you judge you instead. Or ask too much of you, or take advantage of you. Remember that it's ok to cut people out of your life if they are causing trauma. You'll find your people, just keep looking. 





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