Today, I watched the movie, Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon and boy did it ring true. Traveling from house to house to house, and by the end, you start to question what the whole thing is even about. It's enough to make you not want to celebrate at all.
Except my version would be called Ten Christmases. I even came up with a coding system on my detailed week planner to make sure we're seeing everybody. My immediate family, my mom's family, my dad's family, Andrew's immediate family on his dad's side, Andrew's immediate family on his mom's side, Andrew's dad's family, Andrew's mom's family, Andrew's stepdad's family, Andrew's stepmom's family and then, of course, we need to save time just for Andrew and me. And somewhere in the midst of all the chaos, we stop to ask ourselves why.
Why do we drive all over the Greater St. Louis area 5 times in one day? Why do we go see one family just to see the basic components of that family with a few additions a few hours later? Why do we eat cookie after cookie? Why do even bother taking off our coats?
In the movie, this same basic plot laid itself out, so that at one point, the main character's didn't even know who they were or what they were doing. It was that crazy. But somehow, by the end (of course), they realized, more than ever, what the meaning of family was and why they needed them. The ritual suddenly seemed important, nay, crucial to their lives.
And already in the midst of a weeklong battle for my time, I often stop to ask myself why and start to go crazy. Until I realize just how important family and friends are to me, and the why becomes so obvious. I need these crazy busy trips to St. Louis.