Since I’ve been here in California I’ve noticed that a lot of people treat their family as an obligation–people that they have to visit and take care of, whether they want to or not. This concept rubs me the wrong way. I’ve always seen family and family get-togethers as a time of joy and sharing. You love your family because they love you, not because there is some divine mandate making you love them. The idea that people would grudgingly spend time that they don’t want to spend with their family members because they think they have to, is morbid and grotesque to me. Our families are people with whom we share our lives, our hopes, our dreams, our victories and our failures. They are the ones who raise our arms high to show the world our accomplishments and hold our hands through our failures. Spending time with them should be a choice. If you have a family who does not hold your hand and makes you feel as if spending time with them is a burden, perhaps you should reassess whether spending time with them is the right thing to do.