Holidays mean time spent with your family, whether you’re a huge fan of your family members or not. Sometimes, this can be a great reunion with distant family members who you’ve dearly missed. Other times, it can spell anxiety and stress as you prepare yourself to hang out with your dysfunctional family.
No matter which situation best describes you and your family, though, you’re likely looking forward to the holiday because it almost always means great home-cooked food, some gift giving, and time away from the daily grind.
My family, for example, doesn’t often meet up throughout the year. But when we do, I’m always having laughs with my brother and our cousins. Perhaps it’s because we don’t see one another very often. Perhaps it’s because we like to reminisce back on our younger days. Or perhaps it’s because the four of us get along better in our family than anyone else. All three seem like viable answers to me.
But the holidays can also remind you of how distant some of your family members may be. Maybe they’re distant in the fact that they live far away from you and your closer more local family. Maybe they’re distant because you don’t see eye to eye anymore like you used to and they just don’t come around anymore.
For those who are farther away, though, there’s something to be said for both parties having the responsibility of catch up somehow. While the advent of technology makes it quite easy to still contact them no matter their distance, it’s not always the easiest to still feel like it’s the holiday season.
Most of my family is local and within a two hour drive of me, so we see pretty much everyone each time a major holiday rolls around. But we do happen to have some pretty close family that lives at least 15 hours away by car, so it can sometimes be a few years in between visits.
The best remedy to these sorts of situations is mailing gifts to them as little surprises. Even though a lot of people don’t exchange gifts on Easter (save for giving stuff to the children), I still enjoy sending a little something to my family down south just to show them I still think about them. By rounding up a few shipping boxes, packing some unique little gifts in them, and sending them down, I can show that they’re still a part of the family even if they can’t be here. And almost always I end up receiving a few shipping boxes in return with whatever it is they gathered together for me and my parents.