Family is Forever

The holiday season is a time of togetherness for many families. It’s when we get to bond further and remember how grateful we are for each other, especially for families who do not see one another all the time as they once used to. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or just the New Year, it is a time to reflect on the year that’s passed and reminisce on the times you’ve spent with your loved ones. To many people, that can mean just their family that they were born into, but it can also mean your chosen family (a.k.a. your friends), or just about anyone else who you hold near and dear to your heart. It doesn't matter who you celebrate with or how you celebrate, just so long as you do it with the people who mean the most to you.

Armenian Christmas: January 6, 2015

For many years now, ever since I was a child, my parents’ friends would usually invite us to a small party or get together for either New Year or Christmas. All of our extended family lives either on the east coast or in Turkey and since traveling during the holidays is expensive, we spent the season around family friends, most of whom I didn’t even know. I usually felt as if I was surrounded by strangers, only making conversation with a few other guests. Pretty early on, I realized that these parties didn’t really sit well with me. I never had any friends, given the fact that everyone at these events were older than I was, and I most definitely didn’t have much fun. Unfortunately, I would always sit at the tables miserably eating the food (not a bad thing at all though, since that was the main thing I went for), with my parents as my only companions.

New Year 2016

On the outside, this may sound and look very depressing and, trust me, it kind of did. It never occurred to me that we could be celebrating differently because parties and get-togethers were all I had known. What I finally realized was that I was happiest and the most at ease whenever I was with my parents. Being an only child with not much extended family around, I was used it just being the three of us. For some reason, it was ingrained into us that we had to celebrate the holidays with a bunch of people, and I’m sure to some people that’s ideal, but to me, I couldn’t care less about engaging in small talk all night with some adults whom I met when I was born, and whom I haven’t seen since. It’s quite draining after a while and in all honesty, the pleasantries are superficial and I’m tired of them.

New Year 2017

I’ve discovered that all I truly need are my parents. They have literally been there for me since day one and are my number one supporters. Without them, I don’t know what I would do. They keep me going and have relentless pride in me. When I’m home for the holidays, we do as much as we possibly can together since we generally don’t get that time during other months when we’re all so busy. It is a way for us to reconnect and truly appreciate each other’s company. The moments I spend with them during the holidays are sufficient for me. If I’m not being surrounded by people I care about, then I’d rather just spend these days at home with my parents, because I know that their love for me is forever and that is enough for me. I don’t need presents, Santa, or some miracle; I just need them, my friends -- and Hallmark movies, of course.

Christmas 2017