Christmas for Greenwich families will surely be on the road

When I was a kid, Christmas often consisted of a morning present extravaganza at our house in Havemeyer Park, followed up by a drive across town for dinner at my grandparents’ house in Rock Ridge. After all that, me and my sisters would take the five minute drive home, break some presents and fall asleep crashed on adrenaline and sugar.

This Christmas will consist of presents with my kids, followed by a trip to Block Island, where my family, sisters, aunts and uncles, and others will converge because nobody lives in Greenwich anymore. Sleeping in and catching the whole crew is a thing long of the past, and that’s unfortunate. I know I am not the only one who grew up in town who has this kind of Christmas travel in their near future, and there are a lot of very important reasons why, that we might want to reflect upon when we gather up those near to us this season.

The first fact that makes our Christmas so separate is that, almost uniformly, graduation from high school in Greenwich is now almost always the last time that kid will live in town for a long time. It could be college or graduate school that sends them out to a valuable and exciting life, but even if they wanted to be a plumber, there is almost no real opportunity to stay in town because it’s too damn expensive for a young person to set down roots and raise a family here. So whether it’s Norwalk or Northern California, if Greenwich is part of your young family the holiday season will always be held partially on the road.

Getting old is annoying, but it happens and eventually we can’t keep up those big houses, cut that grass, or even need all that space we did when the kids were running around. Unfortunately, if you need care, or even a nice housing alternative suitable for hosting a holiday visit or dinner, the odds are long that you are still staying in Greenwich to do it. And as the years move along, the connection to your town frays, along with that of your children and grandchildren, because you have lost that wonderful ability to make the same holiday circuit that I got to make as a child.

My hope for this holiday season is that all the good people of Greenwich, who have invested years, and generations in our town, to be able to spread that happiness to the next generation, and honor those of the past generation. Preserving your heritage is not something that should require periodic income tests, or is something that can be lost because of your age or because of personal struggle. We need to recommit Greenwich to its affection for the youth, for whom we used to offer jobs and opportunity here in town. We need to honor seniors, for whom we constructed facilities like Agnes Morley and Nathaniel Witherell, and provided services and assistance and honored for what they gave to Greenwich. We need to protect the suffering, who we used to provide help as a community and was actually a national leader in affordable housing, and not as a drain we sluff off on Norwalk when things get tough.

My holiday hope this year, and years ahead is that despite everything in the world, that when Christmas morning, or any other joyous holiday arrives, that everyone has a family next to them to celebrate, and everyone can be just exactly where they want to be.

Frank Farricker is the chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, but the opinions presented here are his own.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress