Yuletide greetings and welcome back to our second installment of holiday stories from our favorite artists. This week’s story comes from our friend PJ Bond, who we got to know during this summer’s Vans Warped Tour. Here’s what he had to say about the holidays:
If you’ve been following my movements the last few years, you’ll know that I’m rarely in one place for too long. That has it’s huge benefits, and occasional drawbacks, but overall has been great fun. One of the things that has kept me sane and happy through all of this has been my family, and the ways in which we’ve grown together, and separately, and how we’ve become something I’d never have imagined in my youth. Many years ago my family had a very normal way of approaching the holidays – each holiday was associated with a specific part of the extended family, and each year we’d rotate the house where we’d all meet. At times it was beautiful, and like any family gathering, at times it was trying. As I grew older, and began exploring new things in my life, there were occasions when I felt disconnected from people, and holidays were not always so enjoyable, a feeling I think many Americans deal with. But about six or seven years ago my immediate family started shifting the way we celebrated, based on the fact that my brothers and I no longer lived anywhere close to our childhood home. With my older brother based in Asheville, NC, the rest of the family began going down south to visit for Thanksgiving, and my brother’s house was filled with a new warmth, one closer to where I felt happiest. Friends, young and old, brought delicious dishes of organic foods, bottles of homemade booze, vegetables I’d never seen, dice for rolling, stories for telling, and something that felt like a holiday on an island that the lost boys would graduate to. So many new faces to meet and learn to love, and so much of it connected to the person I’d grown into. Over the years I’ve still loved going back to visit my extended family on other holidays, when possible, but to me, Thanksgiving is always Asheville, and always interesting. Now that there are many small children running around, and more friends are joining us with their families, we have humans spanning almost 80 years sitting together and breaking bread. I think it’s very important to cherish your blood family, but for me, it may be just as, or more important, to find your heart family, to hold them close, to let them go, to grow with them, to learn, to love, and to laugh with. The last two years of Christmas days I spent alone, animal and house sitting for friends, but still felt satisfied from the leftover glow of Thanksgiving. I hope you all have some special day or time when your heart feels full to the brim. Have a great and safe holiday season. All love, PJ.