Too often the holidays come around and we think it is a time for family. And to many, family means relatives, by blood or by marriage. But does it really stop there?

Over the years I have moved away from my family to reach my own personal goals. All of my family lives a plane ride away. Needless to say, I have made new friends throughout my travels, both in my new home area and on my many journeys’. And I’m proud to say that many of these new friends have become very close friends. We have had amazing adventures together, shared very good times and very bad times together.

Although there have been years that I have not been able to spend the actual holiday with my blood family, I have always been able to get back home to see them “around” the holidays. This year is the first year where I have not been able to get back to them. Even after taking a new position at work afforded my more time off, I found that I accidently planned a foreign trip pretty close to the holiday season. I made the decision to skip going home, after the trip, and for the holidays. It became costly for airfare and was going to be a lot of traveling.

My family was very understanding and thanks to modern conveniences of Facebook, speaker phone, and Skype I was still able to see their shining faces for the holiday. But the wondered what I would spend my holiday doing “all by myself.”

I found that family does not always mean blood. I ended spending my holiday with some very special people, none of which were my relatives. Some of us exchanged gifts – very well thought out gifts I must say! We all came together and made a great meal and shared some laughs. It ended up being an excellent day.

I did miss being with my blood family, but it was wonderful to see how important a close group of friends can be. Family truly does not have to be blood.

Which non-relatives did you reach out to this holiday season? Did you include those special people of your life in your holiday celebrations?

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