Season’s Eating Brings Family Bonding

by Alex Cheser
Columnist

This past Thanksgiving break was simply a huge tease for the holiday season. Now, I’m certainly not the person who wants to push Christmas at all. I’ve unfortunately been exposed to it since mid-October because I work in retail, but that’s commercialism for you. What I’m beginning to pine for though is time with family and food with family. Thanksgiving is just that sliver of a reminder of the quality time and meals waiting for you on the other side of all those papers and exams.

Regardless of why or what you celebrate this season, you’re almost guaranteed to have a meal with family at some point. I can’t help but borrow a quote from Tyler Oakley that I saw on Twitter last week: “Jesus may be the reason for the season, but taste buds are the reasoning for the seasoning.” Eating together is one way that we bond as people and family.

You generally wouldn’t think about it too much, but you choose to eat only with people you’re fond of or at least familiar with — whether it’s in the cafeteria or at home. The concept of a daily family meal has disappeared from many homes across America, so these special occasions and holiday meals almost become a necessity.
This bonding over food can manifest itself in several ways.

First of all, preparing a meal with family is a great chance to grow closer. A good portion of the quality time I’ve spent with my grandmother has been in the kitchen. During this time I’ve learned not only cooking skills and recipes but family stories as well.

Also, everyone knows of that one dish that he or she can’t make as well as Grandma Such-and-such or Aunt So-and-so. This time is also your chance to learn those special family dishes, although I can tell you that most of the time the difference is the fact that this relative has been making that dish for years.

If your family has some sort of potluck-style meal, then you’re presented with the perfect opportunity to try new things. I know at one of the Thanksgivings I went to over the break I was able to try elk for the first time. It probably wasn’t my favorite thing that day, but my family really enjoyed the novelty of trying something new.

When it comes down to it, though, nothing will beat that time spent around the table. This time sets the stage for so much laughter and love facilitated by good noms that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even though the same set of jokes and stories seems to be told every year, these are the things that make your family yours.

To our despair, we still have roughly three weeks until this happens though. In the meantime, throw on some Christmas tunes and power through those papers. We can do it. Once you finally get home, enjoy this time with your family. I know I will. Get in the kitchen, try something new and throw any concerns of a diet aside. These are the times that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

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