At the end of the year, it becomes about gathering the nearest and dearest to you and finding that happy place where you repose casually and easy with those around you and spend moments of days languid in resplendent glory being catered to and having grapes dropped down upon you whilst someone stands above you with a gargantuan palm frond waving it casually over your head. Not everyone’s Christmas image? Well no there are not many that actually repose like this at this time. It’s often a bit of a scramble with negotiations between other persons that sometimes know exactly how to push your buttons and rile you up into a state, or else you are at odds with exactly whose parents do you go to this year? And who has lunch and who has dinner? Yes in reality, sometimes the family quotient is the most difficult to negotiate.
But in each of these times and periods, it is time to reflect on who precisely you do have in your inner circle and who are those people that you feel are your ‘family’. It’s a word that really does conjure up many images, instances and inferences that can be as wide and as varied as we can allow our imaginations to expand.
Family is an inclusive word, it’s about a sense of those that you hold dear. Far from just being the nuclear grouping of people brought together by ancestors, family has come to include those that are part of your inner circle, that trusted group of people that you hold and cling to in moments of crisis, and whom you celebrate with when you are in moments of joyous celebration. Emotional bonds and common goals can be enough to unite people in a bond that creates that sense of belonging and compassionate affection. And these come in many forms and types of relationships.
Family cultures have indeed been described as an aggregate of attitudes ideas and ideals. An environmental cohesion of beliefs and/or a shared purpose. In this way the ancient values of some ancestors still remain relevent to those who are just beginning to form ideals and ideas of their own. Contact between the generations is an important factor of the identifying ‘family’ and as painful as this can sometimes be, its an important aspect to the shared connection of ancestral ties and goals. In many cultures the world over this unity of family is created cohesively and by accomodating the family together, living as one and understanding that the role of the younger is to support the older whilst the older imparts the knowledge and support to the younger.
In this way, there are many ways that others look further afield to find these ‘role models’ in other ways when they are not present or available. It’s most interesting how as young people I see and have experienced that want and need to connect with the authority figure and the elderly statesmen that you can find understanding and ‘leadership’ with . It is this connection that is often why some seek to find a connection with others in the community rather than the family unit. Valuing and adding to these relationships sees us connecting with people of this ilk sometimes at these times, when the emphasis falls to the ‘family’ image. And these are important relationships to covet and recognise when the time of year falls to the image of the ‘family’
Being blessed enough to look over your connections and find the role models and the connnections of those that may not be related by blood but who serve the purpose of those roles that are important for the make up of the ideological ‘family unit’ is an emphasis felt strongly at these calendar moments. Some must look harder then others, and some need not look at all for they are blessed with the example in the traditional make up of that word family.
In whatever way though, one hopes that at this time, any individual can look onto the roles that certain people fill in their lives and celebrate that. Even if they are far afield and not able to be sitting around the table with you, or sipping champagne at that designated hour on New Years Eve. I hope for all that if you can sit and assign those figurative roles to one or two people in your world and find the confidence to celebrate those relationships then that is the real purpose and reason to smile during the season.