Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home for Christmas

Anybody who's read my bio knows I'm one of eleven children and that there are 63 people in my "immediate" family. My mother's house is so crowded at Christmas that you cannot get a seat. There is literally wrapping paper a foot deep in the living room from all the presents. Food is served buffet style. No one serves anyone. LOL. If you want it, you get it.

You can't hear yourself think let alone hear the person next to you talking. There's always a poker game, but the seats are reserved and somebody has to get sick or go home early for a seat to open up. And there's always a baby. This year we had four kids turn one. Not exactly baby-babies, but still criers. They certain add to the noise level.

New boyfriends are intimidated. The noise alone is enough to scare away many a nervous suitor. We all dress in layers, knowing we'll need to take off at least one shirt when the body heat causes the temperature to rise. And many a person has lost his or her shoes in the pile by the door.

Yet, every year it's standing room only. Nobody says I'm not going to that crazy house this Christmas! Nope. We're all there. Some of us with bells on.

Why? Because my mother bakes homemade rolls so delicious that some people eat them ithout ham. But I'm a ham girl myself. If my butt's going to be big, I'm going to enjoy the road to Weight Watchers. Everybody brings a salad or dessert. And some of my sisters and nieces can really cook. There's a dart game for the men in the garage. We exchange gifts, and rather than wait the seventy-two hours it would take for everybody to open his or her gift individually, we have the most hilarious free-for-all and everybody opens his or her gift at the same time.

We make punch, talk about the year that's passed, talk about the gifts we got, catch up with the college bound nieces and nephews, and those who have jobs.

But most of all we just enjoy the fact that we're family. We know that not everybody has family. I have a friend who literally has nowhere to go on holidays. If she lived closer I'd make her an honorary member of our family, just because I genuinely believe nobody would notice her until 2013.

I love being in touch with the younger generation through relatives who will be painfully honest with me. I love being involved with babies and little kids in T-ball and Little League. I love hearing about mean teachers and crazy parents at soccer. To me this is life at its purest.

But most of all, I love being home, where I don't have to put on airs or worry if my crazy hair refused to behave that day. Where I can eat to my heart's delight, serve brownies from a box (since I wasn't one of the ones born with the cooking gene) and still get praise from a little kid who doesn't know a boxed brownie from scratch.

That's family. That's home. The crazy combination of comfort and joy.

May your days be merry and bright and may your home be the place of joy and laughter for those you love.

Merry Christmas

susan meier

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