Used to be when I was younger, my grandmother, one of 13 children, would have a large christmas dinner with her 12 children and their kids. It was magical. As a child, I didn’t care as much about the gifts we got as much as I cared about seeing my family. Sneakily being around when grown folks business was going down, wrapped in love at the dinner table, laughing and showing off for my cousins, and throwing what I now know to be with cleverest forms of shade. You couldn’t stop us. We felt like giants, mythical creatures, the exceptions. We weren’t those other families. Not the kind you’d find in a Christmas movie; the filled with spirit, but silently broken kind. No, we were good. At least, that is what I knew as a child.
Being an adult, you finally get to move from the kids table to see that things aren’t that sweet. That warmth is just lukewarm. I came home as I have almost every year as an adult to spend time with my family for Christmas. I knew it would be different. It always is. I felt the sharp disconnectedness that was always there. Ever present even in my childhood, though I did not know it. This Christmas was smaller. Just half the family. Eat. Drive. Visit someone else. Don’t eat. Drive. Visit someone else. Drive. It was bittersweet. That word probably doesn’t fit. It was void. I missed the other half of my family. I missed the togetherness. I missed everything.
But, my cousins. My cousins are the light and driving force of our clan. They are free from bother, not easily upset, and honestly the COOOOOOOOLEST people I know. In them, I feel that childhood sweetness. They are older, and they know what I know. But they also know different. They see where our elders have fallen, disappointed us, or given up. They, like my brother and myself, have created the desire, ye, the requirement for familial ties especially during Christmas. They have made this the best Christmas I’ve ever had. My childhood Christmases were wonderful. Until, I realized they weren’t exactly. Until this disillusionment. Years of Christmases in between were just okay. But this Christmas, my cousins showed out. They’ve shown me, a new kind of Christmas and I’m grateful.
In comments below, tell me your favorite christmas memory. Hope you have a great new year and I hope you can get you some cousins like mine. 🙂
ps. These are pics M and I took for our card. M couldn’t be with my family this Christmas. Send him love in the comments. Homeboy missed out. Love you, M.