Not only do I have big families on both my mom's and my dad's side, but I also have very tight-knit and loving relationships with them too. It's one thing to have a big family that you never see, and it's a whole other thing to have a big family that you see all the time and look forward to seeing.
I am a very outwardly emotional and affectionate person. That is to say, if I care about you, you'll know because I make it obvious. I am this way largely in part because I have a big family that taught me from a young age if you love someone you tell them, because nothing is guaranteed.
My family is big and still growing, and I would do anything for anyone of my aunts, uncles, or cousins. We may not see each other on a weekly basis, but we see each other often enough to make a difference. I go Black Friday shopping with my cousins, or take the younger ones out on a Starbucks and manicure date, and these are little things, but they're the kinds of things that stick with us.
There is no way I can describe how I feel when I'm with my family. The love in the air is tangible, especially when my uncles tease me about not having a boyfriend (which I do now, so joke's on you guys), or when we're throwing wrapping paper and M&Ms at each other on Christmas Eve, or when we're having contests in the pool to see who can throw the little ones the farthest and the highest.
I feel like my family is something that I sometimes take for granted, even though I know I shouldn't. There are some people who don't have families, and some that do but have been shut out or disowned. I am very fortunate to have a close and accepting army of 30+ people that care about me as an individual.
Sure, family gatherings are crazy, and we are spontaneous and unpredictable as a whole, but what is life without unpredictability and spontaneity? Where's the fun in that?
Take a step back and think about your relationship with your family, because family is one of the most precious things in this life.
I am so incredibly thankful, especially now during the holidays, for my big, supportive, and devoted family. They taught me how to appreciate what you have, how to have fun, showed me what type of family I want to have when I get married and have kids, and most importantly, they taught me how to love unconditionally.