For many American families, the holidays are a time to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. For some families the traditions look a little different because of the different holidays celebrated. Whatever the case may be, the holidays are a time where families get together. But it’s not just the immediate family. This includes the extended family and anyone else who is considered a part of the family. It’s one of the times during the year when everyone gets to see everyone again and catch up. Sometimes there’s a lot of good feelings, other times there are some not so good feelings. There might even be a few inside jokes here and there. But for the Ye family, it’s not like that.
I’m not sure how many American families go through the holidays like this, but I’m sure my family isn’t the only one. I have a big family, especially on my father’s side. In this way we are no different from many American families out there. We just don’t get to see everybody every year because most of the extended family is in China. So while everyone else gets together at Grandma’s or whatever, we get together at home, at my parents’ house. The immediate family was my dad, my mom, and me. Now it’s just me and my mom. Yes, I lost my dad in 2018 and just a few days ago on the 3rd, I lost my cat. She was a part of my immediate family in the sense that I loved her like a family member. I believe pets really do become a part of the family and losing her was one of the hardest things I just went through in my life. I know I sound dramatic, but I don’t care. She is my first cat I have lost this way and things will never be the same going forward. But her story is for another time.
I am lucky I still have my mom. She keeps in touch with her side of the family on a regular basis because she loves her sisters to death (excuse the diction here) and wants to keep tabs on Grandpa. However, like my cat story, right now I’m not going to get into why we don’t really keep in touch with my dad’s side of the family, especially now that he’s gone. So it’s just the two of us. We are a small family, but we have the flexibility to do whatever we want. We don’t have to follow any traditions and there are no awkward uncles to face.
This past Christmas Mom and I went to see the new “Little Women” movie that came out that day starring Emma Watson and Meryl Streep. It has always been this way, but we noticed the movie theater is one of the few places that stays open on Christmas Day and therefore one of the only places you can buy food should you not have food at home. We immediately thought you could spend the whole day at the movies on Christmas Day if you wanted. I’m going to remember that in case I ever need it. We don’t really have any traditions. I think at the beginning, we did – with decorations and dinner parties and presents and even cards. Remember those? Then my cat would always play with the Christmas tree until the whole thing got knocked over. Then I went away to college so we started taking family vacations every year around Christmas break since there were no family friends nearby anymore. Then two Christmases ago he was gone and Mom and I haven’t found a new routine yet.
The holidays don’t feel like anything different compared to what many families in America experience. It’s just the two of us. No travelling, unless we decide to go on vacation. No traditions because I’m too old for presents and Mom and I both don’t like getting a lot of “stuff.” We’d rather spend time together and gain experiences instead. So really the holidays equals a big question mark for us at the moment.