Family Celebrations

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Not AGAIN!!!!

It's the time of year when families get together to celebrate holidays like Passover and Easter and prepare for graduation festivities.  On TV, family celebrations always include good-looking, well-mannered children who are dressed up and happy celebrating alongside their equally good-looking, well-dressed and happy parents, grandparents and other relatives.  Hallmark commercials can still make me cry as can a good Kodak or Folgers commercial.  Note: I still love the Folgers one where the very handsome college son comes back home to surprise his family for Christmas. 'Look forward to seeing that every year...  
 

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This is how kids see teasing.
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This is how parents see teasing.
Commercials depict life the way we want it to be, the life we're made to think we could have if we'd drink this coffee or use that film to capture "the times of our life."  (In reality, most family photos I know of involve arguing and bribery just to get a halfway decent picture.)  I clearly recall threatening and bribing (One sometimes followed the other) my kids during more than one photo opp.  

Let's face it, all of your family members do not look forward to family together-ness because a certain date pops up on the calendar.  Families don't choose each other as relatives, and some families don't gel.  All the family members know this and they all know who's going to start a fight.  Only a mature, confident, well-adjusted kid will take the high road when relatives put him down.  It's much easier to tell the person off (which they likely deserve) or hit them.  Siblings may make fun of each other or even get into actual fights, but if someone else picks on them, forget it, that person's toast.  Siblings reserve the right to pick on each other.  No one else.
 
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So why do we insist on "coming together as one" at holiday time?  Maybe it's the commercials, maybe it's tradition, or maybe it's the pack mentality, but we do it. We argue, we fight, and then we do it again next year.

Bonnie L. Frank

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