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Family season begins

Heather Hines, Reporter

With the passing of Halloween, the holiday season has officially begun. Soon students will be on their way home for turkey and mashed potatoes and back again in less than a month for Christmas treats and New Year’s champagne. 

Some people refer to the holiday season as a time of charity and cheer while other people prefer to ignore the passing season altogether. I’ve always loved holidays, so I never much understood people who acted like Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. The holidays, for me, are about getting together with the people you love the most, spending time with each other and eating scrumptious food. Still, certain people dread the holidays, and college students may have good reason.  

As students, this will be the first time this year most of us get a chance to see our families again. Sure, we’ve seen our parents and siblings every now and again; after all, we’re nearing the end of the fall semester. But it will be the first time you are reunited with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and the honorary family members that aren’t related but attend all your family gatherings, all at once. It’s now that I realize how the very people I love to be with during the holidays can become menaces this holiday season with casual but prying questions about what I’m doing with my life.

I can just imagine questions flying across the table during a holiday feast: “What’s college like?” “How are you doing?” “Could you pass the bread rolls?” “How are your grades?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Who made this delicious green bean casserole? ”“Where are you working?” “Does anyone have an extra napkin?” “Why did you cut your hair?” “I heard you might change your major – what was that rumor about?” “Who’s ready to cut the pie?”

Answering questions can sometimes be intimidating, but answering questions about your decisions, as innocent as they may be, are even more intimidating when they’re coming from people you admire and respect. Getting through the holiday season will be much different now that we attend college and don’t all live at home, but the holidays are still about gathering with people you love and eating good food. Questions aren’t always persecutory, but a way for families to show their wish to be involved in your life. So don’t feel out of place in your own home this year. Preparing all your answers ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble, and if rehearsing answers in your head isn’t your style, write them on a napkin and place it in your lap during the meal. After that, sit back and eat all the home  cooked food you can and enjoy being with your folks. No need to worry about anything else.

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