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Making Family Connections

This Christmas season I did something I don\’t usually do. That is, instead of sending Christmas cards, etc., I decided to call friends and relatives I don\’t usually talk to very often and almost never at Christmas time. They were all quite pleased to hear from me and I was able to catch up with the latest news.

I have to confess that I am not sure I called and left messages for the right person in each case, as many of the phone numbers have changed since my last making contact. I was however prepared when I left messages, saying something like: This message is for X and if by chance I have gotten the wrong number, well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

Fortunately, having a cell phone made this personal touch possible due to unlimited phone calls, etc. It\’s amazing how things have changed. I remember my mother calling our grandmother and asking the operator for a person-to-person call while really asking to speak to herself after our 17-hour drive back to El Paso from Nebraska. In this way, my grandmother would know we arrived safely without my mother having to pay for a rather expensive phone call, as calls managed to rack up cost-wise. Now, we have a situation where my elementary-school-age nephews and neices have their own cell phones to keep in touch with their mother. And fortunately, cell phone costs have come down making it possible for almost anyone to have a cell phone. Having succumbed to the need to have a cell phone, I finally got mine for Christmas in 2005, so though I don\’t have my cell phone attached to my kidney, it is quite nice to be able to connect with family at an airport or from a side street.

The other thing I realized this season is that though we know family can\’t endure life forever, it is really people who make holidays, and holidays don\’t have the same impact unless we are with family and/or friends around–at least that\’s my take on it. Money and fame are fine but they are fleeting; however, relationships can and do make the difference when we are at an emotional loss. Nothing brings this message home more than being on a plane during an electrical storm while one can hear a pin drop during the roller coaster ride because everyone has practically swallowed his/her tongue.

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