Tradition: The Holiday Party

My 85-year-old parents and my father's almost 90-year-old brother and 80-plus-year-old wife are hosting our big, extended family for a traditional holiday party today. This party has been repeated for the past 60 or so years. That's a long time. Every one brings a dish and/or a dessert, and the big attraction is the chance to see this year's new babies, girlfriends and boyfriends, and anyone else who is having a celebration such as a wedding to come, new baby arrival, special anniversary, graduation, or new job.

The party takes place in a church hall. It's not fancy, but once everyone gets there it's filled with conversation, laughter, and fun. My own sons who are mostly adults now look forward to the event every year. It's great to be part of something bigger than yourselves and nice to connect to our many cousins from all over the state.

Sometimes we can forget to plan this significant, family get togethers--the times that we can connect, support, and celebrate one another. I grew up going to these kinds of parties regularly since I had so many aunts, uncles, and cousins and we all lived close to each other.

As I prepare for today's festivities, it's time to put work life and have-to's away so that I can focus on this event and the extraordinary efforts of our parents and great uncle and aunt who make it happen. Happy Holidays!

p.s. I've got to spend some time at my mom's and dad's house going through all the old pictures so that I have some wonderful photos to add to these stories.

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