There was no central gathering place this year on Christmas Day. Since my grandmother's passing, Holidays have been almost the same as when she was here, but this year... nothing was the same at all.
In fact, I couldn't think of one single tradition that we honored this year on my mother's side of our family. We were scattered around 4 cities, with family members we rarely see showing up here and there, my kids weren't there, my brother's aren't speaking, it was a real mess.
This shit may be normal for other families, but it's not at all normal for us. And where I concentrated hard on not letting "different be bad" for my nuclear family, this does not bode well for my extended family. We're tight - or were tight.
I have no idea what 2011 will bring my irritating, obnoxious, selfish but generally good-hearted clan. I do hope it brings us back together in some ways - the ways we each looked forward to on past Christmases.
I know family traditions change over time. New ones sneak in and lame ones fade away. But, I want some of those traditions I grew up with to be familiar, predictable and comforting to my kids - isn't that was traditions are for?