The Importance of Families

idie2liveDecember 11, 2009

I don't know what it is, but more and more recently, I have been thinking about the importance of families. I have a pretty small family circle. There were 5 of us brothers and sisters in my family, and between us we only had 5 children, and they (all adults now, only produced 6 children). I'm the only one who lives in our hometown, so I don't get to see them as much as I'd like.

My Mom died when we were all very young adults, so we never got into the habit of "going to Mom/Grandmom's" house for holiday celebrations.

When I was married and my son and nephew were still kids, it never mattered very much. But now that they're all adults and I'm single, it seems like it almost TOO quiet in my household.

I have some very, very good friends who always invite me over to their different houses, so I'm not by myself. But I find myself thinking how nice it would be if my Mom was still alive to share with.

I'm melancholy, and rambling.................

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emagineer

I wish my mom were here too. Christmas really hasn't been the same for years. Mainly due to extended/fragmented family spread all over and so many other commitments. I decided not to push for the holidays due to additions of in-laws, grandchildren extensions, irratic schedules. They have enough to deal with in meeting commitments, trying to share without pressure.

Don't want to be a grinch, but everyone tries to have a holiday, but it has ended up to never "be on the holidays". They end up a week before, or weekend of...some other time. Doesn't feel like the holiday.

They know they can come anytime and when they do we just have favorite snacks and play. If no one is around I just see the day as a day and get through. Has become normal now. Mother's Day is always around the corner and they do shower me with love then.

Oddly I will have two sons at home this year. One I haven't seen for four years, he may or may not get here exactly on Christmas Day. Lives in HI and coming to visit means a lot of friends to reconnect with too. The ole' schedule thing I don't want to intrude on. The other son is close by and we are planning a calm day with his favorite homemade soup. He's exhausted from work, deserves relaxation rather than tons of things going on.

I suspect we aren't the only ones that have this scenerio. In some ways being off the treadmill of over abundance isn't a bad thing.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:43AM
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ronbre

i understand melancholy..esp this time of year..

you know what you might find fun for the holidays..if you don't have somewhere to go..maybe dress yourself up nice, buy a lot of small treats ..like a bag of candy bars or something..and go to a nursing home or hospital..and visit some shut ins and give them a treat..will make your day..and their day

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:32PM
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Shades_of_idaho

Holidays were never great for me as a child so I dreaded them and did not even do anything at all for many years. Still very little now as it is only Joe and I and he does not care one iota for Christmas.

I do miss being able to see my Mom. She is in Arizona and way too far to travel to especially at this time of year. I do not have the time or money to go that far not to mention the bad roads. It is 22 hours each way in good weather. There are several passes we would have to go over. We have tried to get her to come visit us but she goes to the other kids and gets to see many at the same time and the grand and great grand children too so it really is a better trip for her to make. I do understand.

Loretta I am so sorry you are feeling melancholy. Brendas' ides sounds sort of fun. Maybe bake cookies to take so you spread the joy out over a couple of days.

You wanna come to Idaho our door in open. Warning we have two dogs and three cats.

Chris

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 1:43PM
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prairie-girl

Loretta, I'm sorry you are feeling down. I lost my mom when I was 18 as well, and I often have those feelings too. 'Special' days for sure are harder.

I think Christmas can be one of the most joyful or the saddest time of year for many folks.

I love ronbre's suggestion. I think that true joy is found in giving to others. Often our time is the most valuable gift - especially to those who are 'stuck' in a situation all alone and don't have family or friends to visit them.

(((hugs))) for all who are sad this time of year.

~Missy

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 2:34PM
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idie2live

Awwwwwwww, you guys are great! I knew you would understand.
Emagineer, how nice to have your son home after 4 years! No matter how old they are they are still our 'babies' aren't they?
Chris, its great that your Mom is still with you. Yes, I can see how it would be difficult for you to visit - 22 hours! When was the last time you were able to see her?
BTW, I love cats and dogs. But do you have cable?
Ronbre, Prairie-girl, our senior group goes to the nursing home to visit and pass out treats for several of the holidays during the year. Some of them have no one who visits. They are so thankful for everything you do.
Loretta (who is feeling more like her normal self)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Shades_of_idaho

Loretta I am not sure about Cable. You mean TV kind of cable? No we have Dish TV. Is there a difference? Can you tell I do not do much TV?? Hehehe We do have wireless internet to the house and within the house. We are hi Styling it. Hehehehe And if you do not have a computer to bring along we have a few here you can use.

I have not been able to see my Mom for 12 years now. Very long story. Sad.

Chris

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:34PM
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idie2live

Yeah, there is a difference - the cable people try to suck us dry! 300 channels, and there is nothing on!
Oh Chris, I'm sorry its been so long since you've seen your mom. But I know from experience that family relationships don't always run smoothe. I'll bet we all could write a book!
Your DH sounds like my son. Holidays mean nothing to him. As long as I make him some potato salad, he is happy, lol

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 11:24PM
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flgargoyle

We're slowly making our way through our first year without our beloved sister-in-law, who went to be with the Lord Jan.3. She was very much the family matriarch and the life of every party. Each holiday is a challenge- we took Thanksgiving to an entirely different venue for all of us. As you get older, you slowly begin to realize that your place in the family moves up, and younger members are looking up to you. Seems weird, since I'm still very much a kid @ 56.

When we shopped for property a few years ago, we first tried to find something very close to a relative. But they keep moving all the time (some making their 'final' move) so we found a place that we like, and is within a reasonable drive of loved ones. We originally moved to FL to be near family, and one by one, they have all left, one way or another. Now, we're the last ones here! It really is time to get out of Dodge.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 6:13AM
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trancegemini_wa

wow and here I was thinking Im the only one who gets the "christmas blues" as I call them. I lost my mum 10 years ago and we were very close. Im not close at all to my father and brothers and I miss seeing my mum at the holidays.

Prairiegirl you made a comment that has stuck with me since I read it on another topic, about how you couldnt bear not having a tree. So last night after DH went to bed I dragged out the little tree and decorated it and put some things on the mantle. DH said it looked really christmassy when he saw it this morning. :) Before I knew it I was looking through books for a nice shortbread recipe to make and give away as little gifts. I'm hoping these things might help me get through it instead of just wishing it was all over like I normally do - I guess we'll see.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 11:49PM
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prairie-girl

I'm sorry that you are missing your Mom, trance. It's a hard thing to lose someone so close to you. I'm glad you put up a tree and took the time to decorate a bit! I think that taking a little action to change your circumstances/surroundings, even if it feels a bit superficial, can go a long way to changing how you 'feel'.

I wish you well in your endeavor to 'give gifts of cookie love'. I think it's a wonderful idea!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 6:46PM
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idie2live

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas - filled with family, friends and wonderful memories of those who are absent from us physically, but ever present in our hearts and memories.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 12:33AM
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flgargoyle

Cute card! At 4:30 this AM, I wasn't sure if the eyes actually blinked, or if I was still half-asleep!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 4:18PM
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lavender_lass

Trancegemini wa- Good for you! Decorating the tree makes it feel more like the holidays :) I'm very lucky to still have my mom and she only lives two miles away. However, my brother has a lot of issues and has not been a part of the family for years.

Sometimes, all you can do is make the holidays mean something for yourself. If you decide to celebrate, maybe things will look a little brighter. I have Rudolph decorations (and I admit I don't have kids) but I love them and they remind me of a much happier time with my brother, so I use them every year...and Rudolph is just so darn cute :)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 11:19PM
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trancegemini_wa

thanks prairie and lavender lass for the encouragement. I've been in such a christmas rut for a long time but I have enjoyed having the tree up and looking at it so far. :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 8:53PM
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Shades_of_idaho

So glad things are looking up for some of you. When in town today we bought a Christmas gift of a big box of oranges. For us but will share with any one that drops by. Hehehehe We bought the porch kitties another bag of food and the dogs some too and another bag for the inside kitties. We are well stocked up in case we get another storm.

Otherwise we do not have any plans for Christmas. Usually it is just us and I fix a nice meal and maybe a couple of extra things.

Merry Christmas to every one too. Going to go write a couple of cards and call it a night.

Chris

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 9:33PM
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marti8a

Wow, after reading this, I don't feel so alone or grinchy. Christmas had depressed me for years and I never could figure out exactly why. Stress? I cut out half the stuff I did and it still depresses me. I think part of it is that dh's mom always insisted we go there for Christmas (which was a total pain in the patootie when the kids were little) and we never developed our own traditions. But that's not all of it. I dread reading those wonderful, upbeat Christmas letters from everyone - to the point that I don't even open some of them until February when I'm over it.

Emagineer nailed it: Don't want to be a grinch, but everyone tries to have a holiday, but it has ended up to never "be on the holidays". They end up a week before, or weekend of...some other time. Doesn't feel like the holiday.

This year, since the in-laws have moved here, everyone is coming to our house. I dread the work, and wish I didn't have to do the turkey, but it is expected. I'd rather have a bunch of stuff made ahead of time that can just be warmed up and relax all day with everyone.

I haven't felt good in awhile, but I finally got the tree out and set up. It's prelit, but has very few lights on it, so I added lights the other day, and that's where it stopped. I hope to get dh to help tonight and get it decorated so at least there is one thing done when dd gets here.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 4:25PM
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flgargoyle

I get pretty stressed around Christmas- there's always so much to do! It's one of my favorite times of year, but I always worry about getting the perfect gift, decorating, baking, etc. Last night, our church choir sang at the local botanical gardens, and I played alto horn in a small instrumental ensemble we put together to back up the choir. I was a little stressed about that, too, until I realized there were a couple hundred people enjoying our music! I realized I was bringing joy to a lot of people, all out of proportion to the small sacrifice I was actually making. I've been in a much better mood ever since!

My wife is working this Christmas (They don't close hospitals for holidays) so I'll be doing all the cooking, but it's just the 3 of us, so I can relax and enjoy myself. I just hope I got her something for Christmas that she'll really like........(mustn't go there!)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 6:48PM
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lavender_lass

Marti8a- I understand that sometimes it's hard to break tradition and what's expected on the holidays, but life is too short, and if you'd rather do something easy for the holidays, and not a big turkey dinner, I say go for it! Tell everyone you're starting a new tradition and besides, what's Thanksgiving for, if not big turkey dinners :)

If you're celebrating in your home, do what makes you comfortable. If everyone else would rather do something else, next year someone else can host the party.

Hope I didn't offend, but I'm a big believer in standing up for yourself. If you're not feeling well, even more of a reason to do less. Hope you have a great holiday and take my advice (unasked for I know) in the spirit it was intended :)

Flgargoyle- Great way of looking at the holidays!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:01PM
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idie2live

flgargoyle, are you a real person? A man that COOKS, plays an instrument for the church choir, and can build his own house???????? lol, Your DW is a lucky girl!

Marti8a, before I learned to cook, I used to order my T'giving turkey and fixin's from Picadilly Restaurant. They make great food, it was convenient and I did not end up slaving over the hot stove. Do you think you could order the most time consuming parts of your meal? Here's hoping you feel better and enjoy your day.
Loretta

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:48PM
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