How many of us have family members that live out of town, state, or perhaps out of the country? Yet, with the holiday season officially upon us, this is often the time we find ourselves coming together with numerous opportunities to reflect on our family history; our family tree.
Yes – many of us travel from near and far to come together as family during this time of the year to enjoy each other through fellowship, partying, or to simply partake of a good meal. During our time together as family, we also find ourselves sharing legendary stories and tall tells about grands, great grands and great-great grands. Interestingly enough, while many families are perfectly intact and have relative ease in tracing family genealogy, sadly others will struggle making any significant generational family connections.
So where is the interest in ones family history when we are dealing with those who live in single parent households, or divorcees who have different sets of family trees; or what about the down-on-their-luck individuals that will have to eat their dinners in shelters, homeless organizational structures, or perhaps at homes alone without family members to share time with.
I would suggest that each of us, during this holiday season, take time to reach out to those who may have distant relatives; perhaps have lost a loved one or two this year; or, have relatives that are fighting to defend our liberties in foreign countries; or, have loved ones in prison such as the hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are away serving time.
Moreover, thank God for your immediate family and rich tree; and, take stock of whatever isn’t right with your family tree and make a concerted effort to work towards doing your part to make it right.
So – Let’s take a look at the makeup of a typical family tree?
The Leaves: siblings which will likely wither away when their youthful season is up like leaves falling from a tree.
The Branches: family members or relatives who are an extension of you. Their season in your life is much stronger and longer. The best example of branches are our parents, guardians or perhaps God parents.
The Roots: family members or relatives that hold you up to help you live a strong and healthy life. They are well grounded and there for life. Usually we can see mothers, grandmothers, and sometimes fathers and grandfathers as our roots. They have been here on earth for one or two generations prior to you, so they know your family heritage.
When being around and enjoying family during this time of year, I love drinking eggnog, listening to holiday music, and the taste of fabulous holiday food goodies. Yet when I think about the importance of family relationships and appreciating my family lineage, I am compelled to reflect on the reason for the season, and in so doing, look for opportunities to bring cheer to others that may not have the rich history of their family to draw strength from.
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More about Felicia Smith
Felicia Smith is an author and Empower Magazine columnist. www.queendreamz.com