’Tis The Season for Merrymaking and Friend-Making

tagged with Community Health

This season, with its gatherings and the soft glow of holiday lights, allows us to reflect on the importance of the Umbraco community, friendships, and the comfort they can provide.

As holiday lights twinkle and invitations flood our inboxes, let’s take a moment to appreciate the diverse and vibrant community that truly defines Umbraco. This season, filled with laughter, festive gatherings, and the warmth of shared traditions, offers a chance to reflect on the significance of this community and the spirit of togetherness it fosters.

For many, this is a time of joy and cheerful reunions with family and loved ones. But for some of our community, the holidays can be a time of loneliness and isolation. The festive cheer can sometimes highlight the absence of loved ones, leaving a bittersweet feeling amid celebrations.

Having lost my parents and other family members, I understand how the empty chairs at the dinner table, the unshared jokes, and the memories that linger are poignant reminders of the love we’ve lost. Now, friendships and a sense of belonging feel more important than ever.

Photo of a dining room table decorated for the holidays

Take a seat at my dining room table. I dried the oranges myself! - Photo by Karla Santi

Navigating the Challenges of Friend-Making

While our childhood and teenage years were often characterized by boundless energy and carefree social interactions, adulthood presents a different landscape. Gone are the effortless friendships formed in school classrooms or during extracurricular activities. As adults, we attend “networking” events to meet new people. Ugh. Our lives have also become increasingly compartmentalized, juggling demanding careers, family responsibilities, and personal commitments, leaving less time and energy for nurturing friendships. The spontaneous playdates and sleepovers of our youth are replaced by carefully scheduled coffee meetings and the occasional virtual catch-up.

Furthermore, the fear of vulnerability and the risk of rejection can make it difficult to open ourselves up to new relationships as adults. Even if we sense a connection with someone new, we may hesitate to initiate conversations, fearing judgment or awkward silence. When did making new friends become so complicated? This hesitation creates a vicious cycle of isolation, making overcoming the initial hurdle of building new friendships even harder.

Girls sitting around the table celebrating a birthday

Me and my friends at my ninth birthday party. I'm on the right. :) - Photo by my Mom

Finding Connection: Umbraco’s Welcoming Community

Within the Umbraco community, a diverse collection of individuals thrive. From seasoned professionals to enthusiastic newcomers, all share a common passion: a dedication to the Umbraco platform. This shared interest and experience provide a sense of belonging and allow us to create meaningful connections. I like to call it “friend-making.”

As a relatively new member of the Umbraco community, I can personally attest to the warm welcome I've received. I have made friends from across the globe and met new ones who live nearby. In fact, I met one of my best friends at the annual Codegarden conference. Although we rely on the occasional virtual catch-up, the friendship carries beyond our shared interest in Umbraco.

Ultimately, the Umbraco community is a powerful testament to the strength of collaboration and shared passion. It’s a vibrant hub of connection where individuals can find support, learn from each other, and contribute to the growth and development of the platform they love through online forums, social media channels, and engaging events.

This sense of belonging and shared understanding can be a lifeline for those experiencing loneliness or isolation, especially during the holiday season. It serves as a potent reminder that we are not alone in our struggles and that genuine connections are possible, even amidst the challenges of adulthood.

Me welcoming Jack Clough from Tangent to his very first Umbraco event. - Photo by Umbraco HQ on Flickr

Beyond the Holidays: Building Lasting Connections

While the holiday season of entertaining and celebrating offers a unique opportunity to connect with others, it’s crucial to remember that the need for belonging and support extends far beyond December. Let’s continue to cultivate the spirit of community throughout the year, nurturing our existing connections and welcoming new members with open arms.

By participating in online discussions, organizing local meet-ups, and engaging in collaborative projects, we can strengthen the bonds within the Umbraco community. By making ourselves available to offer support and encouragement, we can create a network of friends who uplift and inspire one another during the holidays and throughout the year.

Karla Santi saying cheers with a glass of wine

Cheers to the holiday, the new year, and see you at Codegarden - Photo by Umbraco HQ on Flickr

May this holiday season be a "blend" of celebration, reflection, and meaningful connections, illuminating the unique spirit of the Umbraco community. 

Cheers, friends!

Karla Santi
Karla Santi