Last Updated on December 4, 2018

I love large family gatherings.  Being surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, cousins–the more, the merrier!  Every significant holiday growing up was a juggling act for my mom. Trying to schedule events for both sides of the family and making sure we had equal amount of time with them.  My husband and I are from the same small town, so we had plenty of family celebrations to attend after we were married.

Ten years later we moved 600 miles away from our families–too far of a drive to go back for every holiday.  We were actually looking forward to our first holiday in a new state.  Not having to juggle family events with three kids relieved a lot of stress.  And we enjoyed hiking with our children on a day that would have been too cold up north.  But we actually missed scurrying from one family event to another and being surrounded by a lot of family.

The next holiday, we decided to find a “new” family.  We invited new friends from church and another family that had just moved in from another state.  I was not experienced in cooking a huge turkey, so we opted for grilled pork loin and made new traditional side dishes.  Our day was filled with great potluck food, laughter and games.  Our bellies and our hearts were filled to overflowing!

In the past four years, our table has expanded.  Holidays have included the widow down the street, missionaries passing through, newcomers to the area, families from church that we would like to know better, foster children and friends from my kids’ school.  We are hoping to host international students from a local university at our next holiday.

We still miss our families and look forward to visiting and being surrounded by love.  But there are plenty of lonely people during the holidays.  Even if you live close to your family, invite someone new to your family gathering. Expand your table and your family!

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One Comment

  1. Love this, Julia. So often a tiny step of opening out homes can make a huge difference to someone else.