In these times of stress, fear and uncertainty, we turn to family and friends for comfort – and to time-tested rituals for feelings of security. Particularly in this holiday season, many will come together to honor customs and gain a sense of stability. Yet as families grow and change, so do holiday celebrations.
Now that Hanukkah is here, relatives are gathering in various constellations across the country. For some, the family is smaller as older parents become infirm and adult children move away. For others, relatives travel across the country to share the holidays with their extended family. Friends may gather to support each other and have a good time in the process. And when the nest has refilled with Boomerang Kids, families can savor the experience of being together again to celebrate Chanukah.
Adult children are moving back home in record numbers for many reasons, including job loss, debt, underemployment, schooling, student loans, saving for a financial goal, after a divorce – and because they feel comfortable living with their parents again. While there is often an emphasis on the challenges of multi-generational living, there are also rewards to be gleaned from the return of boomerang kids.
Here are some to think about as you enjoy your latkes and watch the Chanukah candles burn brightly:
Take the opportunity to see your grown children in a new light, recognizing the adults they have become.
Expect them to pitch in and lighten the load, to ease your work and reduce your level of stress.
Give them the freedom to grow, even as you help light the way to the future they will create for themselves.
Let your voices sing the Hanukkah songs in harmony, with lightness and joy, while you take a risk and spin the dreidel.
And a Happy Chanukah to all who are celebrating the Festival of Lights.