To be part of a family is to be in a relationship. There is an opportunity for a closeness and trust that cannot occur outside family. With this possibility for closeness is the possibility of hatred and estrangement. It is not easy to maintain positive relationships with those that we are naturally closest to. There are tensions that exist between family members that are not present in other relationships. Being in close proximity means that you know a persons great attributes as well as their faults. Maintaining family relationships are a tremendous challenge.
Most friendships only last for a particular phase of our lives. When that developmental period is over, the friendship may dissolve. For a friendship to last a lifetime there must be something really special between you. There must be a connection that transcends time and space. This kind of a friendship also takes a certain flexibility. People change throughout their lifetimes and they must continue to search for commonalities between the themselves if they expect their friendship to endure.
Holidays are many things to many people. For some, the primary function of a holiday is its religious significance. It is a time when specific spiritual opportunities are available to experience. For others holidays are primarily about family getting together. Most people do not work and so there is an opportunity to renew family bonds. Relatives that you haven't seen in a while join together with you to celebrate the family that you belong too. People that do not have large families or may not want to join together with them may celebrate with friends.