On Christmas Eve, our family has our traditional Turkey dinner, roasted potatoes, veggies, ceasar salad, cranberry sauce, gravy and of course the apple pie for desert. It was as usual my sister Susan's special day to shine as she normally prepares the dinner. The event was tremendous and my 95 year old mother was up for the occasion and enjoyed every last moment of it. It is usually the exact same always - and may I say the location has not changed in over 30 years - my mother's home - or the family homestead.
Like most families the drama can play out at festive gatherings. Christmas is no different and seems to be the catalyst for drama! For many years our family usually ended up in some sort of an argument and then one person would leave and like a domino effect, everyone would say they had to go. My mother and sister were getting really pissed off by this and wished that we didn't have Christmas at all.
Finally, last year something changed! First it seemed that 'young ones' had now grown up and were in their late teens just about to hit the 20's and they were now settled more. Then we got to speaking about the old family 8mm home movies that we had hidden away and hadn't looked at for perhaps over 30 years. The thought was lets get them out.
So I rummaged around with my great nephew in the storage area in the basement, et voila, there was the 8mm projector, the screen, and we found all the reels of movies. Now would it work? Yes! Again, it was as if the god's had blessed us and took us out of the arguing phase of our lives. We watched many of the movies dating back to 1956 and the 'young one's' were able to see their parents as children. It was so so so much fun and my mother was overwhelmed and excited to see my father and even her parents.
This year we did the same thing and in fact it was the excitement that made the evening yet again. The home movies were the talk of the evening. We watched some different ones from last year and again it was a powerful walk down memory lane. My mother loved it again and so did all the clan.
What I have realized is the power of history and how this can bond - of course it can move the other way as well. However, in this case it has created a new event and happening in our family. It has brought us closer together as we can now see in film the family fun, silliness and love.
Do you need a new spark to liven up your Christmas? We needed that spark in our family Christmas and it truly made the excitement - ie lets honour and also laugh at our past. Good therapy I guess!!!! Aha!