Family gatherings (HLD 235)

12 Nov 2020

We are very fortunate in our state that we are relatively free of restrictions that would hinder a get together over Christmas and New Year, and my heart goes out to those who will not be able to celebrate with family and friends in person this year.

I have, given that it’s apparently six weeks until Christmas, started the very slow process of trying to work out what we will be doing, and where, and when.

Christmas for me screams family catch-ups. Ok, maybe screams is stretching it a little, but very loud talking is definitely on the cards.

Traditionally one side of our extended family have the actual day book-marked, and the other side of the family manage a catch-up sometime before or after the big day. The gathering that happens sometime surrounding the actual day is generally a very casual affair, sometimes involving food, often involving red wine, and generally doesn’t involve gifts. The gift is the ability to spend a little bit of time with each other. And drink red wine during the day.

The other side of the family – the in-law side of the family, are a little bit more work. On the eardrums.

We usually have a meal on Christmas Day, with the location rotating through whoever doesn’t come up with a good enough excuse fast enough. In years past we have had rosters involving who brings what part of the meal, and also secret Santa type games and activities to plan as well. It is usually a well managed affair where we all know what to bring, but we always bring a bit more of something else, just in case the person who was meant to bring that thing, happens to forget.

No matter how often we declare that this year we will not overdo it on the catering, every year we overdo it on the catering. It is not an easy task to fill a Hamblin with so much food they have to eventually say ‘no more’, but at Christmas we seem to manage it.

I always say, each and every year, that we could quite frankly bring a bottle or two of some drink, and some junk food, and everyone would be perfectly happy. Not healthy, but that’s besides the point.

We don’t need the abundance of food to enjoy each other’s company.

And we don’t actually need Christmas as the impetus to have family catch-ups on this scale. We could have loud chaotic over-catered meals ANY time!

What are your plans for Christmas this year?

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