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During the next week, families will gather. Most likely for a festive dinner – often turkey and trimmings. Perhaps just for gift giving. But they’ll want to get together.
The ritual is reflected in the songs of the season. “I’ll be home for Christmas.” “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Other songs evoke nostalgic images: chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sleigh bells ringing, stockings hung by the chimney with care….
Satirists love to skewer the sentimentality of Christmas rituals. Families sit “in old stone circles,” wrote the Irish poet W.R. Rodgers, cracking open “the tinned milk of human kindness.”
Because, to be honest about it, not all Christmas gatherings are harmonious. Some families are, and will always be, dysfunctional. Members dread getting together. They know old wounds will be torn open, old scars exposed, old grievances rekindled.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Christmas gathering