This weekend we are headed to my father-in-law’s annual family Christmas gathering. It is a time when my husband’s extended family on his dad’s side gathers for an afternoon of ‘catching up’ and enjoying each other’s company. This year marks the first year without the family matriarch ‘Grandma Lucille’. She died this past year at 92 years of age and many of us thought this gathering may no longer happen because she was gone. A little background on me, my family immigrated to the US from the Philippines in 1972 and left my extended family behind. Every holiday growing up was mainly my parents, my brother, and myself. The whole idea of large family gatherings was foreign to me until I got married.
Anyhow back to this weekend. It always starts with hugs and laughter and the usual conversation about how the kids have grown, what we’re up to, etc, but after a full afternoon, little pods pop up and the comparing starts. We usually end up talking about other people and relatives, what they’ve done, what they should’ve done, and then there’s the little comments said under someone’s breath. Why do we do this to the people we supposedly care the most about in this world? We spend a whole lot of time trying to please other people, secretly hoping they think we’re awesome, but many of those same people don’t really care about us at all. I know we all have different family dynamics and because we love them most, they can hurt us the most. Why not try to be the ‘light’ this year, be the peacemaker. I’m not saying fix anything, I’m simply saying stop yourself from the bad talk , bite your tongue, or simply walk away from it, maybe others will follow suit. Try excessive complimenting (that should really throw people off), or simply smile.
Family dynamics are funny. They know us, they’re like us, they know what buttons to push, but they are all people. Simply put, no one is perfect, we are all flawed. Our history and experiences mold us into who we are today; we may share the same history, but not the same experiences. If you get irritated, consider what they’ve been through, it will allow you to understand them better and love them more.
Today I’m back to my reds because it’s holiday season. I LOVE Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick in Merlot. It has the perfect texture and on me it is a deep bold red, perfect for evening (and daytime if I’m feeling daring). Here’s to you, I raise my glass of Merlot and toast! Enjoy!