There’s a lot to be said for an international family, but just occasionally it makes life complicated and I start wishing I’d married the boy next door and settled in the next street so that all the family could be together for Christmas and birthday celebrations.
Still, even that doesn’t always work out well. One who did marry locally and has always lived within walking distance of most of her relatives was complaining yesterday that her rebellious teenage son has moved out and gone to live with his doting grandmother, and although her relationship is better with the son now they aren’t getting in each other’s hair, she and her mother are no longer on speaking terms because Granny has taken sides. Seems you can’t win!
So far my direct descendants in Switzerland seem to be following a successful policy of “look what’s under your nose” (metaphorically speaking – actually, their men are all much taller than they are). If it isn’t the boy next door, it’s more or less the boy from the next village. As they are increasing in number and all live within hailing distance it would have been very nice to have had a five-generation international Christmas dinner. However, when it comes to the Christmas crunch, mobility is the deciding factor – or rather, lack of mobility on the part of the doyenne of the family. Which is why I am back in my natal district and planning to spend Christmas with my mother and “kissing cousins” in the good old traditional Merry English manner while the “Swiss lot” are celebrating without us at home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m counting my blessings. Life is short, and many people have no family at all to share Christmas with. Mine is spread around a bit, but I am grateful for my caring, loving family wherever they are and the fact that they put up with me.
In the words of Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one!
PS: The photo is from last January, in our local English park. So far this winter, we haven’t had any snow – but who knows what’s in store!