We went to the (‘the’ being pronounced THEE) family Christmas party yesterday. This event has been going on for the last 48 years.
“Wow! Forty eight years? That’s a long time.”
Why yes, it is a long time. For those of you reading that are a part of this family, you’ve got a Get out of Jail card and can skip this post. For the others, unless you’ve got fifty bucks or roll doubles, you’re stuck…unless, of course, you click on the ‘X’ at the top of your screen…
Any-Hooville, here’s the scoop. My mother is one of ten children.
“Wow! Ten children? That’s a lot of kids.”
Why yes, it is. Then add two step sisters into the mix (No, they’re not wicked, nor was there a step mother.) and you’ve got an even dozen. Now every Christmas or Christmas Eve they got together with their mother, Alice. As each one married and had children of their own, the family grew larger and larger. Getting together required some logistics, so it was decided that whoever had ‘mom’ over for the holiday would be where everyone went. They called it the ‘Grandma Alice Christmas Party’ and the first one was 48 years ago.
Over time the venue has changed; it’s been decades since we’ve been able to fit in someone’s house. For quite a while it was held in the back room of Johnny's Tavern, in Chicago. Not the kind of place you’d think of for a Christmas party, but it was perfect. There was plenty of room for us youngsters to run around and a bar up front for the adults to sneak away to. We eventually outgrew Johnny’s and getting together on Christmas day. It’s been over twenty years since we’ve moved to having the party at a banquet hall and the weekend before Christmas.
Though the date and place have changed, you can still count on the traditions that were started back in 1962.
Carols will be sung and the children will gather for a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’…
…followed by a visit from Santa.
During the party everyone visits with family they see everyday and family they haven’t seen since the year before. Sometimes it’s hard to keep all the names straight, especially since we keep multiplying. Four new babies this past year!
The time passes quickly and before you know it, a piñata is being hung marking the end of the party. While the children are scrambling on the floor for candy and toys, adults are scrambling for coats and that last hug good bye.
“Wow! Your family does this every year? That’s a long lasting tradition.”
Why, yes it is. All inspired by one woman, who not only taught her children the value of family, but instilled in them the meaning of it.