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  • Larissa Martin

Why I Celebrate The Holidays With My Friends

By

Larissa Martin

-

Dec 13, 2022



Since 2015 I have celebrated holidays with friends. My best friends -who I call my core four- they are my anchors and my family. We celebrate friendsgiving and friendsmas or a gift  exchange, depending on the friend. 

Big or small, new friends and old friends, we take the time to celebrate the holidays together. Each year it’s held in a different location  It’s exciting to see my core four since it’s not often we can visit each other.       

This year, our traditions have more meaning to them.

 Earlier this year, my brother passed away and my world was shattered into a million pieces. Any sense of “normalcy” I had turned upside-down. One of my best friends also moved five hours away from me, to Washington, D.C. I admit my first reaction was selfish; I immediately wondered how this would impact the holidays we usually spend together. I was seeing this as a sign that this had to become my normal.

You can imagine my shock and joy when this friend told me that this year we would still be able to carry on with our traditions in some form, just celebrate the holidays at a later date.  Together or we could do a video call like everyone did during the pandemic. 

This excitement wasn’t for the holidays itself, but rather a refreshing step back to “normal.” This year more than ever I craved feelings of home, belonging, and connection. I feel that my core has definitely been there for me, especially this year. So I look forward to being surrounded by those who love and support me. It was a welcome breath of fresh air to start off what I know will be an extremely emotionally hard holiday season — the first one without my brother.

The love, support, and connection is the greatest gift I could ask for. 

This is why to me holidays are so important to celebrate with friends, whatever  it may be — a gift exchange, cookie swap, or so on.  This is much more than just a holiday. This holiday season will  obviously stand out to me as a time when I was surrounded  by my people and cared for as I truly needed it. I will always reflect and replay being with friends who only want the best for me. That feeling of home, comfort, and happiness.

As we are in the holiday season. I want you to recognize the emotions associated with these times for many due to these past couple of years of trauma with the pandemic and so much loss. It  may not always be happy for some people, myself included. 

We should remember to do our part to make the experience supporting, loving, and understanding for everyone we see or interact with this holiday season. You never know the struggles people in our lives are facing, so keep that in mind. You might see holidays with friends that are family as silly and pointless. But for me and so many others, it’s a sense  of normalcy again when we need it most.






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