Home for The Holidays - it's a song, a film, and a sentiment that is rather hackneyed this time of year. I love being home for the holidays, but I decided to think a little bit bigger this year.
Bigger than connecting with my out-of-state grandparents. Bigger than making time to enjoy festive traditions with my local family and friends. Bigger than starting a Christmas cookie contest (although that is going to be interesting considering I got a Ninjabread Gingerbread cookie kit....)
This is the time of year everyone spends with people they don't really know...but believe they should somehow feel connected to. Everyone pontificates about slowing down, remembering why we are celebrating, and soaking up this holiday...after all, this is the only Christmas 2012 we will ever have. (I guess if the Mayans get their way we may not get that...:)
But let's say you are taking time to appreciate your family and friends and celebrating your special traditions...what's next?
My family and I are big on holiday traditions.... But one thing we do that keeps the season fresh and interesting is adding a new tradition each year.
This year, the inspiration for our "new" tradition was supplied by yours truly, and is about 900 years old.... This year, I am exploring my French roots. Although my mom's family has been in America since the 1600s, they left their mark on northeastern France, going back to the 1100s. Someday, I hope to visit the village that bears their surname...and stay in their chateau!
Am I excited to embark on this exploration into my heritage simply because I am so happy to be French? (OK, c'est possible:) Regardless of what you initially think about your immediate or far-removed ancestry, I encourage you to check it out..... Just like the people we know, our heritage will be speckled with good and bad. And also like the people we know, it can surprise and enrich us in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. At the very least, I hope that researching your past will make you feel connected to both those around you and to a past that you may not yet understand.
So please join me as I explore my French roots during this festive season. Who knows? As you check out your history, we may find out that we are related! Either way, let me know what you discover about yourself and your family:)