The sleigh bells have rung, the open fire, now reduced to ash, no longer roasts chestnuts and all family members have rescattered back to homes of their own. Holidays are always fun—eventually.
Most people revisit all kinds of trauma along with the tinsel and culinary delights we’ve come to expect. No, let me expound on that. From the depths of time family ties have been woven/braided/ designed to tether family units together. Usually it is the mother’s job and no matter how thankless it can seem to her, it will have the most lasting of effects on her family.
Skillfully woven webs of colors, smells, food, and musical enticements, designed to engulf the senses, morph into time-honored traditions permanently embeded into our psyches for all time.
The smell of cinnamon, the ringing of a bell, the list goes on forever. They reel us back to our roots every year, be they good or bad, reigniting our childhood memories and bugaboos in the process.
Autonomy so desperately sought or achieved through the ages reverts to previous patterns. Our past and present collides.
Yep, holidays are fun. So why do we do this every year? Do we only tie religious beliefs to family? Do we need a heady helping of retrospection every year? Does it somehow prove our worth? Is it an excuse to get together and party? Or, are we simply swimming upstream to our place of origin?
I love my family but during these times I find myself dreading gatherings...until I’m actually there. So what’s with that?