Home for the ’08 holidays

The generation gap has claimed another part of my mother’s understanding of what constitutes a ‘date’ these days.  My brother and I had to explain to her how meeting at Starbucks can constitute a purely social occasion, because the place is so corporatized into our generation that any other interests would be better expressed in a choice of more local or privately-run joe joints where the image is less overbeaing, the ambience warmer, more personal/individualized or rustic.  Obviously, my brother and I have stepped into a few too many Starbucks to have figured this one out ourselves.  There may have been something romantic in those chains before their stores were located every half-block in the city, but that trend was short-lived, at least for me and one member of my kinfolk.  Mind you, this intellectualism was had after my mum waited up for me and my bro was waiting for sleep to take hold.  Still, a priceless moment from the few evenings I will get to spend with them this break.

I rather got a kick out of this conversation and especially the ones following in which we outlined the intricate embarrassing moments that the three of us have had since I have been gone at school.  Passed down from one side, I have the firm belief that you are not family unless you can pick out and laugh at each other’s (and your own!) embarassments, gestures or other oddities.  I suppose you have to grow up with a bit of a coarse skin for that type of humor.  Those laughs last night and the ones that followed today put the cheer into my Christmas Eve.

Other memories of this holiday so far:

  • listening to grandpa stress the importance of taking dance lessons with a woman you love
  • learning to enjoy driving in blizzards
  • poking fun of our dog who gains winter weight before the holidays really begin

Can’t wait for grandma’s baking!

Let me leave a holiday post with this: I can not put value to laughing with a family member.  I like to think this way: someone in your family encouraged or even taught you laughter along the way, whether they tickled you, made a face or even made some funny noise – could that expression have been the first expression you actually learned from someone in your family?  How many of us were tricked into smiling when a parent wanted to shove a spoonful of mushy baby food into that mouth of ours?

The point is: I hope no one forgets the cheer along the way during the holidays; remember that we do not have to leave that fun just to spoon-fed kiddies in the high-chairs.

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