A Family Christmas

For years now, ever since my parents left for Australia, us kids have been kinda disconnected at Christmas. I've been "adopted" by one sis-in-law's parents (who we've known forever!) to do The Day and The Big Meal each year, but we've almost drifted out of contact with the youngest brother and his wife, only getting the prezzies delivered late - or very early, as was the case over the weekend when we got 2 to put under the tree.

(Note: it is not a good idea to put presents under the tree 2 weeks in advance. Kids will beg constantly to open them, driving one deep into the Insane end of the Christmas Spirit well ahead of schedule....).

This year it's suddenly different. Us kids are making more of an effort to get together regularly. We try see each other every month at least - once went 9 months without seeing one brother, so this is a Big Thing! We talk more often, and email each other now and then. It's pretty cool!

This year we're going to be getting together as just us kids (and their kids) for a Christmas Eve meal - something we've never done before.

Somehow we're all just gravitating toward being together suddenly. Maybe we've wandered too far for too long, and realize we've missed out. It may be the start of a new tradition for us kids, now that we've almost lost all our old ones. With an uncertain future ahead, it could also be the right time to get together and be festive, just in case it's the last chance to do so. One never knows.

My son is really enjoying having uncles to look up to in the absence of a father (he told me his gramps is going to have to teach him to shave his face one day, as he doesn't have a dad to do so, which makes me sad - he misses out on a lot of dad-stuff...). Over the weekend he spent three hours surfing with one uncle - time with a good male mentor is what is so desperatly needed at this stage.

Now that my brothers have families, and the kids are starting to arrive, we're all rethinking how important our family is to us, and what it means to keep close and in contact. We're reconnecting and forming new bonds, getting comfortable in each other's company once again.

I really, really like it. I'm looking forward to us being together. It's just Right this Christmas season.