Some of us only see our relatives at Birthday's and Christmas, and those times can often be overwhelming. Masses of food and drink, relatives we hardly see and people we have barely kept in contact with.
Of course not all families are like this, but for those whose families are scattered around the country, we barely see each other.
Phone calls can be few and far between. Facebook now catalyses the updates and family affairs. Birth, deaths and marriages bring us all together too. The elderly, now slowing their pace, may only make an appearance on these occasions.
The very young are brought along to family gatherings and are often showered with gifts. As they age, they would rather be with friends than around those who have loved them their whole lives.
The kids get a kids table and the older children are often called upon to serve up the nibbles.
"Take this plate round"
"Get the drinks from the fridge"
"You can lick the bowl"
Common quotes from many family gatherings.
We age, we change our ranks from kids to adults, adults to married couples and then to parents ourselves. We bring our partners into the equation. This changes our families, they grow, evolve and develop.
No matter who you are or where you go, they will always be your family.