Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finally, it's over for another year...

What is it in human nature that pushes us to buy into the Hallmark card holidays? We invest an inordinate amount of time, effort, and usually far too much money into a single family gathering, thinking that one day of forced togetherness will somehow make up for the other 364 days of squabbling and emotional distance. It doesn’t, of course, even if we manage to get through the day itself with gritted teeth, pasted-on smiles, and carefully avoided conversational topics. Too many people crammed into a too-small living area do not make for a memorable occasion, at least for me. And I don’t know of anyone who can honestly say they do not heave a sigh of relief when the door closes on the last guests, or the car pulls out of the drive, headed for the peace and quiet of home.

I would so much rather see us spend quality time together more frequently, in much smaller groups, when we can actually hear one another talk about something other than the weather and the latest TV reality show. Letters may be passé, but email is a great way to stay in touch quickly and regularly – and I don’t mean the Fwd: Fwd: Fwd messages. Even grandparents have email these days, at least in our family. Phone calls work, too, and hey, guess what? The phone rings at both ends! A quiet meal, a cup of coffee (or tea!), a walk in the park – those are the moments of emotional connection and relationship-building that mean the most to me. I can do without the holiday hoopla with its unrealistic expectations and over-hyped anticipation of…something.

Lunch, anyone?

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