Home for the Holidays

In 1995, a movie entitled Home for the Holidays was released.  The timing was perfect – it made it’s debut just before the Thanksgiving holiday.  For some who viewed it for the first time, the story hit close to home.

It tells the story of Claudia (Holly Hunter), the creative carefree daughter, who returns home to share the holiday with her parents.  Over the course of a few days, she is joined by her older sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stephenson), a suburbanite who feels she is the only rational one in the family.  They are joined by their rolling stone of a brother, Tommy (who else could play this role but Robert Downey, Jr.).  Another note of mention about this film is the story is directed by another actor – Jodie Foster.

Besides the themes of love, family dysfunction, and sibling dynamics, the film also deals with the awkwardness of dealing with unresolved family issues.  A lot of us have been blessed with loving, caring families that look forward to coming together to exchange gifts.  But others may face family gatherings with apprehension and anxiety.

The movie, The Family Stone, also takes place during the holidays.  Family dynamics are even more unique.  A stoner son, another who’s gay and deaf with a Black partner, a “mean girl” daughter, the girlfriend no one likes…and more.  Like Home for the Holidays, the movie presents the viewer with challenging or difficult topics as they play out during family interactions. 

We put so much pressure on ourselves during the holidays.  Gift giving, Christmas dinner, sleeping and seating arrangements, personality conflicts and issues…wouldn’t be great if we could just come together and just BE?  Not focusing on what was or what we would like….just what IS.


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