I’ve lived in Las Vegas for the past three years. Since my move I’ve noticed that I tend to get a bit melancholy during the holiday season. My mood gets a bit sour starting the end of October and it usually doesn’t perk back up until January. Pretty much the entire winter. That’s a long time to be down in spirits.
Sometimes I just miss my family. As crazy as they are. As much as they get on my nerves. As dysfunctional as they are, I miss not having easy access to them. It’s a three to four-hour drive between Las Vegas and San Bernardino, CA. I’ve only just now been able to hop in my car to go and see them. Before, when I had my old car, I couldn’t. My car wouldn’t make it. As a result I wasn’t able to see them as much as I wanted. It got to a point where Thanksgiving was the only time I was able to really visit.
But like clockwork, I’ve been feeling down these last couple of weeks. It seems a bit worse than usual this year because I don’t think I’m going to make it home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. While examining my emotions I had to question what about the “holidays” that bring out these negative emotions in me. I mean, what is to special about two days out the entire year? After some deep reflection I concluded that there is absolutely nothing special about them? They are no different from any other day. In fact, Thanksgiving celebrates an imperialistic and genocidal culture. And Christmas…it a tradition with pagan roots, taken for the purposes of assimilation and wrapped up all pretty in a Christian package complete with a pretty bow. Besides all of that, I’m Buddhist anyway.
What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t need some commercial or religious “holiday” to tell me that I should spend time with my family. I may not get to see them as much as I’d like but I’m still pretty close to them. I keep in touch. I call my grandmother once a week. I text my brother and mother all the time, check in on my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m still close to the (ex) in-laws who are here locally, who when I can’t stop by to chat I send e-mails checking in on them. My friends know I hate talking on the telephone but I’ll bbm, FB, Tweet, hell send them “Thank You” cards all day every day.
My point, is that I don’t need a table full of food or a Christmas tree in order to show my loved ones that I care about them. I don’t need two days out of 365. I express my gratitude every day. My family, both blood related and adopted, know that I love them very much, whether I see them all the time or not.