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Happy Holidays and family?

By December 22, 2010June 30th, 2017Blog post

Mom, hubby, kitty and me are spending the holidays together. Doesn’t take much to make a family. Most years my husband and I have gone to the beach for Christmas day.

We don’t get to choose (or at least not consciously) our family of origin. Some of us are blessed with a loving close knit family, some of us run screaming in the other direction. No matter.

You can create your own family! Who brings you alive? Who can you spend time with without having to continually explain yourself? Who’s got your back? Who do you relax and laugh with. Who can you be with and not spend half your mental time judging them, or them you? (Hopefully there are lots of those.)

alone in n Calif winter • photo by Carolyn Ringo

Before I married my husband, at age 39, I spent many years in the mountains behind Santa Barbara drumming alone on Christmas. It was wonderful! The trees have always been good family for me. I had close friends, but they all had obligatory family to be with. I tried fitting into some of those situations – ugh. Nothing worse than someone else’s family to be with at gift giving time. If you don’t really enjoy your family of origin, but feel it is necessary, you don’t have to spend all of the holidays with them. Some time for you, some time for them. (Good to look at who thinks it’s necessary as well. Does it really serve you and them?) You get to choose how and with whom you spend your time!

Whatever our choice is, I think it important to examine why we are choosing whatever/whomever it is. You may prefer to be alone. You may be yearning for family and friends. There is no reason not to have friends if you choose, unless you just moved to a new community. There may or may not be reason to not be with your family of origin.

Just take a look – do I feel fulfilled after a day (or more) with these people? Do I enjoy a few hours with several different groups? Maybe a celebratory time with a few close friends other than Christmas day, and then quality time alone another time?

Do you cook something special for yourself, or just two of you? Cooking together was always one of our favorite things to do, until my husband became vegan!

We can make the holidays easy, (like giving gifts to charity for each other and/or buying local ahead of time, or making things – cutting down on the consumerism), or we can be miserable. But it can be a conscious choice.

What do you choose for yourself this holiday season?

Carolyn Ringo

Author Carolyn Ringo

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