Ah, the holiday season. The time of year where life seems to slow down a bit, then speeds up all at once. It is a time when we make new memories, and fondly recall those we made in the past. This special time of year is my favorite. To me, family is one of the reasons the holidays are so magical. So, let’s explore what makes family so special.

On this Earth, family is the only true constants. While some may have valid experiences to disagree, overall those of us who have good relationships, understand family is there for us—like no one else. As blood, we are uniquely bonded through ties never fully undone. This fact alone makes family unique. Even though we may disagree, in the end, we’re STILL family.
But what about those who we consider family, despite the lack of blood ties? Can we call them family? Of course. Humankind could not exist without the bond of love for one another. In some cases, that love is romantic, but in many cases the love is platonic. It creates bonds not unlike that we share with the families we were born into. If our best friend has been there for us through thick and thin over the years, we’ve developed a bond that goes beyond friendship. Those of us who don’t have blood relatives can find absolute solace and peace with our adopted families.

So, what does family have to do with the holidays? Well, tradition has gifted us this beautiful yearly experience of gathering with friends to give thanks for what we are grateful for in life. The tradition itself is a nod to how grateful we are for our friendships. We invite those we love—blood or not—to our Thanksgiving gatherings not only because we are grateful for the blessings in our own lives, but for them as well. Whizzing through life on this giant rock together, experiencing sadness, joy, pain, nostalgia, love and happiness. We do this together. Our collective experience ties us, and our families—the ones we love and cherish the most.

As we approach the new year, the holidays are a time for reflection. We sit down in warm, cozy rooms, light shimmering off rims of our glasses and get caught up. Perhaps we even discuss the wonders of life over the familiar holiday tunes. We do this with the ones most important to us. We do this with family.
This year, as we dig into our delicious Thanksgiving feast, let’s take time to take it all in and enjoy the wonders of the season. Look at the shining, happy faces. Think about the memories we’re making, and the memories we’re becoming a part of. Truly be thankful for those in our celebration, for they are our family.

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