Ive recently been reminded of why I get so excited for the holidays. One of my cousins is pregnant so the whole Schewe clan - 40 people strong - gathered for a co-ed baby shower.
We spent some time together as we celebrated the future arrival of a new cousin and it gave me a taste of the holidays ahead.
Thanksgiving always was such fun because it meant my siblings would be coming home from college and we would be making a pilgrimage to Detroit for the annual feast with the extended family. Now, I am the one who is coming home from college and my immediate family is extended, because both siblings are adults, complete with spouses, children and in-laws of their own.
It is funny how family get-togethers work out. For us, there is always stress, confusion and noise, but more importantly good conversations and an all-around feeling of being connected that is too often missing in my own daily life.
After the shower, my parents wanted to take our immediate family out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. That initially sounded like a great plan until you consider the ages of my nephews. The three of them - ages ranging 1 to 4 - would have much rather gone to Chuck E. Cheeses. By the end of the night we had seen flying chicken strips and had somehow converted the dinner table into a racetrack. I knew that I had definitely seen it all when my own mother was maneuvering a motorcycle while eating her filet. Yet it was so much fun, and as the noise level rose so did our appreciation for the time spent together.
As it turns out, I will not get to see my siblings until Christmas. This does have some advantages, like our house will not get destroyed and I will be able to sleep in, but I would gladly give up my room and the peace and quiet for a loud, chaotic Thanksgiving with everyone together.
This year I am going to take the advice of a friend and not bring home any remnants of school. I am going to set organic chemistry aside for four days, leave my school life in East Lansing and focus on the relationships that give my life such meaning. Then I will really know what I am thankful for and it might even give me enough motivation to make it through finals.
Alison Schewe, a State News undergraduate columnist, can be reached at email@example.com.