Why Spending this Festive Season with Family and Friends is a Wonderful Idea
I need to, and like to go back to whatever I call home, at least once a year. And I look for the feeling of home in wherever I go and whatever I do.
Sometimes I succeed; I find that feeling of home in different places and things and hobbies. But I find it most in certain people.
Certain people feel like home. They are the ones I can be absolutely myself with, and be cherished for it. They are the ones I miss. The ones I want to celebrate important days with. The ones who make hurting and healing easy. The ones who make conversations and silences equally comfortable. The ones who shelter, care, worry, listen, argue, accept, forgive, love and more. The ones I want to spend this festive season and festivities with.
Luckily, I’m spending all of this November with family and close friends around, celebrating festivals and attending weddings of special people. What joy.
Having spent the last four days in their company, being part of more than three conversations at any given time, clicking pictures in between, reciting anecdotes we’ve heard far too many times but still find amusing etc, I realised I felt indulged and fulfilled in some way. I felt good.
I sat down to write what felt so good about all this; why I would, (and maybe why you should if you can) spend this and other festive seasons with the people who feel like home.
1. Familiarity: Having grown up in the same city as my dad’s siblings, I met them and their children, my cousins, for lunches and dinners at least twice a month. They’ve known me as a kid, a teenager, and even after we all moved cities, as an adult. So being around them brings the comfort of being with people who know me so well that I can be my real self with them. The good me, the bad me, the kind me, the selfish me, the snappy me, the jolly me; they are accepting of it all. And that adds a sense of ease to all the festivities.
2. Conversations: Family and old friends are our link to our past. Mine know the stories which always crack me up. And the ones that make me cringe. Those stories are a walk down the memory lane. Those stories are conversations you know will be understood even if you don’t articulate the best. Those stories are the conversations that turn nights into late nights into mornings.
3. New memories: You never know when you’re making a memory. But spending time with certain people almost always guarantees a good time. And good times translate into great memories for the future. Stay up an extra hour talking to your younger cousin brother. Fail at lighting a sky lantern (then succeed). Attempt making a rangoli with your best friend on the morning of Diwali, in night clothes. Watch fireworks standing on the terrace, with drinks in hand and some music going on the side. Play cards. Or just lounge on a couch extending meals longer than they should last, because you’re busy talking and being lazy, but mostly busy feeling good.
4. Laughter and love: That’s a given, really. Laughs, chuckles, smirks, sarcasm, miming, goof ups, tight hugs, feet on your sister’s lap, cheek kisses, sharing beds with cousins, chatting, drinking one too many drinks, pulling pranks, making merry. Four days in, and I’ve already experienced laughter and love enough to make me want to write about it.
5. Reconnect: Some of the family and close friends who I met over the last four days, I met after months and years. To most, I spoke my heart when I hugged them and said, “it’s so good to see you”. Because it really was. Seeing them cheered me up even when I didn’t need any cheering up. Catching up with a few, remembering old times, realising a lot hasn’t change, was simply a bonus.
It’s a lesson I’ve learnt in the past few years, and even more in the past four days, which I’m now turning into a wish for you. A wish that I truly hope comes true: celebrate festivals and important days with people who feel like home.