By Yako and Krystal

December 25, 2014, 2:18 pm

 

imageHome for Christmas! It has been a while. At least a couple of years. What I missed most are the family meals, all gathered around the table. Not just dinners, but breakfast and lunch as well.

When you are a guest visiting my parent’s home, you have to be prepared to get up early in the morning to join in for breakfast. No exceptions. No sleeping in — that is something you do on your own time, not on family time.

The whole family will wait until everyone is downstairs, all showered and dressed, before anyone can start. So you better set an alarm clock unless you want to call the wrath upon you of the early risers growing hungrier by the minute.

The table is set beautifully with a variety of breads, cold cuts, cheeses and other delicacies. My mom and dad get up before everyone else to prepare and to make sure that us kids are all in awe when we enter the breakfast area.

You might think, this is too much pressure. I love to sleep in on vacations, have some time to myself. Do my own thing, not having to consider anything or anyone else. But that’s the whole point.

These almost staged gatherings around the table create something magic. Whereas we are usually busy with our own appearances and concerns, we somehow transition to a different reality. Leaving no room for individualism, a place of togetherness emerges which is unparalleled by any other setting.

It’s hard to explain. Many people nowadays experience togetherness through social media. But that is not real. It is perceived connectedness. Posting a status on what you are doing or sharing an opinion in the hope that someone will comment on or like your post. Interacting but not connecting.

No, then take our family dinners. Everyone speaking (yelling) at the same time making sure to be heard and the one who is loudest rules the conversation (usually my dad). All in good fun though, teasing one another.

The conversation is shared with the whole table. Very rarely do two people stray off in a separate discussion. Some are more quiet than others, but everyone is enjoying themselves and feels they belong.

For a moment we forget about our day-today worries. And we feel rich. Rich that we have such amazing people in our lives. People that we appreciate, respect, and love to spend time with. I wish it would never pass. I wish it was like that every day with everyone. That is my Christmas thought.

 

Here some of the other Christmas thoughts from around the table:

My mom: “I’m richest of all because all of you are here.”
My dad: “I’m so grateful that we can celebrate this together.”
My sister: “I feel so great about the fact that all of us are in wonderful loving relationships.”
My other sister: “There is so much love and I feel it.
My brother: “I hope that everyone can become happy in their own way and as such respected by everyone.”
My newest brother in law: “I feel so welcome and greeted by warmth and I wish that upon everyone.”
My sister in law: “I feel very happy and words cannot express it.”
My brother in law: “This family is diverse in so many ways: religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. and we are all sitting around the same table cherishing and loving each other (unless we are playing a card game :)).

Happy Holidays everyone!

Yako


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About The Author

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

One Response

  1. pamela

    Yes I and my family you so much, you are amazing person, it is just a pleasure to have you in our world. And the way your mom n dad carry their house hold is the proper way of living life. When I was and little girl I always want my family to grasp of this adorable setting and rise with the mind to make others to be able to awake in the mornings with and open mind. So yhat we csn carry on the with great wisdom and knowledge, of not worry where or what will I become in life. I thank you so much for this, these stories like this is what others need to here, such and great writer you are. Love you.

    Reply

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