A Family Tradition Found In 'The Family Stone'

A Family Tradition Found In 'The Family Stone'

A simple tradition with a complex meaning.

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Every year my family sits down in front of the fireplace, squeezing onto the couches with Dad's famous hot chocolate in hand, to watch our favorite holiday movie: "The Family Stone." If you've never seen this holiday heart-warmer, starring beloved actresses like Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, and Diane Keaton, you're truly missing out on an hour and 45 minutes of pure family drama, chaos, and love.

"The Family Stone" takes place around a family of five children who all return home to spend Christmas together. As soon as the oldest son brings his new girlfriend home, the Stone's become increasingly defensive, sarcastic, and skeptical towards Meredith and her soon-to-be permanent spot in the family, as Everett is planning to pop the question this Christmas. The events that unfold throughout the film depict the natural mayhem that every family encounters, making this movie incredibly relatable. My family also has five children, so this movie rightly touches our hearts as it prompts us to look towards the future at our own Christmas reunions. We always end up predicting the upcoming years, teasing and laughing about who will be the first to get married, who will have the most kids, and who the burden will fall on to have Christmas at their home.

The symbolism in this movie gives it an emotional effect that sparks a reflection on love, life, and strength. The title of the movie not only represents the family, the Stones, but it also represents the heart of the family, their mother, Sybil, played by Diane Keaton. As she is battling breast cancer, she acts as the center of the family, their rock and anchor, staying positive and embracing the disarray that comes with a family of seven. Additionally, Everett asks his mother for the engagement ring she promised to give him when he met "the one." Unconvinced that Meredith fills those shoes, Sybil withholds the ring. This ring is another example of the "family stone," acting as a family heirloom and holding much significance. It is obvious that Everett wishes to marry before his mother passes away, but his mother knows better than to let him make this foolish mistake.

As an incentive for you to see this movie for yourself, I'll refrain from spoiling the ending. I'll leave it up to you to experience how casually, yet effectively, this movie touches on themes such as racism, sexuality, disability, acceptance, judgment, and forgiveness. My family holds this movie close to our hearts, and it has become such a longstanding tradition that I'm struggling to remember when or how it even began. Nevertheless, it is an important and necessary part of our holiday tradition, because as cliché as it may sound, it really does remind us of the true meaning of Christmas: spending valuable time with family, practicing forgiveness, spreading kindness, and embracing the seasonal spirit. I invite you to adopt my family's tradition and add an entertaining and simultaneously meaningful aspect to your holiday celebrations.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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