It’s always a nice feeling when you haven’t seen a particular friend or family member for a long time, and then you get together for the traditional meet up over the Christmas holidays. This may be a bit of a belated Christmas review, but it’s very relevant particularly to us students.

We may be living miles away from home and haven’t seen family since the summer. It might be of a bit of an anti-climax when you see them, particularly if all they give you is a big cuddle and some pants that you left behind before you left, but if it is an exciting meeting then it could be the best meeting of your life.

There are lots of Christmas presents that perhaps we are not always fond of receiving. The usual deodorant, (of which I have a lot; I get the feeling people are trying to tell me something) pants and socks come in from the usual suspects. However, and I may sound like an old fogy here, but I don’t think presents are the reason for seeing people. If you live away, you may not seem them for months. They are the closest people in your life, your family. They have missed you, they have wanted to see you for months, and all they want to do is give you a big hug and treat you to what they see as nice gifts for you. So far be it from you to stop them.

On the other hand, this article focusses on more than just a few months of absence. We all have them. The distant family members that you may not have seen for months, but more than that, perhaps years. You may not even remember them. You then see them. The question I pose is why do they always seem to have the same reaction ‘Oh I haven’t seen you in ages, you were about this high when I last saw you’ (using hand to estimate how tall you were when they last saw you).

My query is what are we suppose to say to that. I have resorted to just saying ‘well I’m not that tall anymore’. I mean it may sound patronising, but I can’t think of another answer. I also think ‘well the last time I saw you, you were the same height as you are now, because this is the first time I have ever seen you I don’t even know who you are’. Later on this incredibly awkward exchange, usually my mum describes who they are by saying ‘oh do you remember my auntie’s cousin who died, well this is her long lost step brother’ or words to that effect at least. I mean how am I supposed to know who that is? I apologise if any of my distant relatives are reading this, who ever you are I hope you are having a great 2016 and had a very festive Christmas.

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