For some reason being around you family at Christmas tends to bring out the worst in us but also the best.
It’s all very familiar, the stories are similar but each time we get together the story is told another way. But sometimes those family undercurrents are running fast under the bridge.
They say you can choose your friends but not your family, blood is thicker than water but what happens when people in your family don’t really talk to each other, except every year when they are thrown together to celebrate Christmas?
The first hour or two is awkward, they exchange pleasantries but don’t sit next to one another at the dinner table or volunteer in the kitchen. Hour by hour they spend a little more time with each other and realise that they do indeed have something in common and spend the last part of the day reminiscing about old times.
There is something quite agreeable about it all. It is heart-warming to see that family can illuminate the past with new found awareness and love for each other. I’m not saying that this happens all the time, it doesn’t, and there have been plenty of times that someone has become exasperated with another family member but they all realise that this is the time to let those irritations and frustrations go and move into the present moment.
Every family has its past, its old emotional attachments, grievances and annoyances but being able to look past them and enjoy each other’s company and act with love that comes from a true place is what Christmas is all about.