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Family and the holidays

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I have just been holding my while she cried. Both of our parents are gone and we really miss them, especially at this time of the year.
    Every Thanksgiving we used to visit my parents in Las Vegas then at Christmas we would spend the day with her parents and the extended family. I would roast a turkey and bring it over and other people in the family would bring their specialities. We would exchange gifts, eat and play silly board games and just be loud in general until late at night. It was always a great time. Her parents were the glue for the family, all of us in the family always knew where we were going during the holidays without question.
    I know some of you have your own stories about the holidays maybe good maybe awful, feel free to share them. I would enjoy hearing them.
    For us, we didn't realize just how good things were during that time, those days are gone and not coming back. Now, we are trying to establish new traditions with our family and people are looking to us to do that. :eek: Kinda scary but good. We still have fun.
    Happy Holidays and/or Merry Christmas to you all.
  2. PAC

    PAC Banned

    Nov 22, 2013
    One day you wake up, and you are the old people.
    What can I say.
    Merry Christmas

  3. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    True and we have a lot of great memories. But we don't want to live in those memories we want to make new memories today.
  4. My mom used to bake/roast/cook up MOUNTAINS of awesome grub- cinnamon rolls, chicken, noodles, gravy, stuffing- all the Caucasian country stereotypical staples, all from scratch. All able-bodied relatives in a 100 miles circle gathered, gorged, napped, did the presents, napped and gorged more, on into the late afternoon. The peak was maybe 20-30 years ago, everyone was stable, some of the *kids* had gotten married, we al had at least regular jobs. As my folks got older, one by one the homemade food items were replaced by store-bought... the aging kids brought more as mom just wasn't as spry anymore. They're both 90(!)now, still kicking- not hard, but kicking nonetheless. We're all thankful for what we had as well as what we've got and don't count on getting anything else. That said, I will make every effort to enjoy the season and whatever comes.

    I would consider it a privelige to be the next *Christmas home base* of your tribe. :)
  5. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I was just thinking of the old Christmas days as well. Over the last few years, we have had quite a few deaths in the family (including my father) and my family is much smaller and further apart. My mother is still living and my daughter is close by but my brother's family is in Virginia and my son lives in Alabama. Most of my friends have their own celebrations and I am usually alone for most holidays and they really don't mean as much as they used to for me without loved ones to share it.
  6. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    My family and I used to go every year around the Advent Season to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC. It's a massive basilica with beautiful artwork and architecture. We haven't been there in a few years. The last time I remember going there was when we were looking at colleges and decided to look at Catholic University, which is nearby.

    We're going tomorrow.

    I'm sorry to hear about your families. Next time I'm going to California I might see if I can swing by wherever you live. :)
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    My mom's side of the family mostly live within 50 miles of each other. When I grew up we all went to the same church where my uncle was pastor, did a lot of stuff together. As kids got older we shifted the clan holiday celebration to New Year's, starting when I was about 11 or so. That had a lot of traditions accumulate around it - a roaring Yankee Swap where people all kinds of funny things in, gifts were done on a secret santa basis where you had to figure out a clue who your santa was before you could open it, heaps of food (buffet style), skits and games, all that.

    That lasted about 10 or 15 years before it slowly started to unravel. My grandma, the matriarch of it all, passed away. My uncle retired from the ministry and people started attending other churches, so we weren't in as close contact as we had been. The family just got too big, the house felt crowded and cramped. It also made a lot of the traditions hard to work - the Yankee Swap and Secret Santa started to drag on and on and get dull, people started running out of funny ideas for the swap, some secret santa clues got elaborate and difficult to figure out which made it drag on longer and get frustrating. More recently, my dad passed away and he had been a real driving force organizing skits and games to make times fun. And there was inevitable family drama which meant one cousin's household or another would stop coming. It's puttered on, but this year I don't think I've even heard anything about a general clan holiday gathering.
  8. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I didn't think I would be here this Christmas. I thought I would be gone by August. Thankfully, it's not the case.

    Right now, we're at the farm in France and are decorating the tree. We never decorate it until we are all home. No snow on the ground. Nice green valleys and the weather is nice and mild. The fire is roaring. The Christmas music is playing. Life is good, after a very difficult year. Lots to be thankful for.
  9. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    We're lucky that they're here for another year, or three for my wife and myself. The parents on both sides are eighty-ish.

    About traditions... They can be taught, and can be learned. Some families impart (value) them, while other families (or certain family members) ignore them. They can make for great memories, and help to form strong bonds between family members from generation to generation.
  10. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I'm still very lucky that my parents are still around. Mom is 86 and doing well, considering. Dad is 89 and is doing the best he can, considering all things. All I know is that I'm looking forward to spending Christmas day with them. It will be very low key, but at least I'll be with them.
  11. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I feel you Slobake. My parents are gone and I am not yet 40. This is the first Xmas without my maternal grandma (my hands down favorite person ever) and I am not dealing with it all that well. My sister can't come into town and will get to see my brother for 1/2 a day on Xmas eve if I am lucky. Honestly, I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up after the New Years.
  12. Relayer71


    Jun 25, 2009
    It's sad, but it's a part of getting older. I'm realizing that myself, at 42. Had a few relatives pass away in the last 5 years or so, others move away, nieces and nephews grown and having children of their own... a daughter away at college. Not to mention I'm going through a divorce this year.

    So things for me aren't as they were and you're so right Slobake, you just don't realize how good you have it sometimes. But the key is to try to find happiness anyway - to cherish the memories and hopefully get to create new ones.

    Something that I've learned along the way is THINGS CAN ALWAYS BE WORSE :D

    Stay positive all, enjoy your holidays and lots of good luck and happiness for the next year.
  13. sandmangeck


    Jul 2, 2007
    It will be the first one without my dad and the last one in the home I grew up in. Chin up.
  14. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    We live on the West Coast, my wife's parents live on the East Coast, and my parents live in England. Normally, we all meet up at her parents' place for Xmas, but this year the doctors have advised her not to fly.

    My parents are flying out to us instead this year, and we're having a big potluck with all of our friends who are staying in the area. This will be the first time we've hosted rather than going to one or other parents' place so there's some symbolic "the wheel turns" value there.

    Here's a horrific picture of me torturing the dogs with the lamb shanks I'm cooking for dinner.

  15. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Yep, the end of one era just means the beginning of another one. Cheers!
  16. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Looks like all three of you are on the same train of thought!
  17. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    All my family is in Mexico: Parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins. All of them get together on Christmas eve, 59 people under the same roof!!! We have not been in Mexico since 2009, this year we will be there via facetime :)
  18. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    The holidays can be so weird in how they mess with your emotions... I was sitting here listening to Christmas songs while I was web-surfing and "Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer" came on, such a stupid song.. but of course now I'm sitting here wiping tears away because it was my grandmom's fav Christmas song. I can't understand how she could laugh at it every time she heard it. She's been gone since 2003 but I st,ill miss her so much, especially around the holidays...:(
  19. Just lost my grandpa right before Thanksgiving. It's tough remembering the ones we've lost, especially when we've just lost them.
  20. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Well, we're all trying to figure out what to do with an excess of meat. Those shanks were twice the size of the ones from my previous butcher.

    For the family holiday stories: couple of years back, my 93-year-old grandma was in hospital over the holiday. My father and I went to sit with her. He held one hand, me the other. She passed smiling, being in physical contact with the next two generations down the line. Can't think of much better than that.