So, holidays bring up memories; all kinds of memories. I'm doing happy memories, but happy memories are sometimes weird memories.
When I was a kid, we went to my Grandparent's house for Christmas day. We got up and unwrapped our gifts and dressed and Mama made whatever her contribution to lunch for 60 was and we'd drive to their house, passing many of my Aunt's and Uncle's houses on the way. That was my family; very close.
Everyone came. I'm from a blended family where all the kids were raised together, even though some were actually 1st cousins and some were steps. But, everybody came for Christmas and everybody's kids came except some of the oldest, who had married and made other Christmas traditions before this big event really got started. Everyone visited while my Grandmother and the Aunts made lunch. My grandfather was in the back, cleaning a hand saw to cut through the ham bone so it could be sliced. And, one of the Uncles with a Polaroid as big as the ham I'm cooking this weekend and then a wind up super 8 and a light bar with three floods, blinding people everywhere he went.
First the men ate. The men could have men talk. And, while the men ate, the women fed the children. I know, it's an old-fashioned tradition that we would shudder at today, but this was a long time ago (a looooong time ago). Then, the women washed the men's plates and the women ate. And, don't feel all sorry for the women. I listened to them at table sometimes and they had way more fun without the men there than they ever would have in a mixed group that included their husbands.
The next flash is the Aunts at the sink, cleaning it all up, each in an apron. My grandmother packaging the leftovers, one Aunt scraped plates into the trash, one washed in the huge porcelain sink with Ivory Snow washing powder, one dried, one put away, and one watched the children. And, they laughed and they talked and they laughed and they talked.
Later, when Christmas started moving and my Mom and my Aunt Ducky (sometimes you don't have to make up names for the internet) started to compete to get to have the family, my Dad and his brother and I did the dishes. While the women ate in the dining room, Uncle B would scrape and my Dad would wash and I would dry. And we laughed and we talked and we listened in on the women and we laughed and we talked and Daddy and Uncle B told old stories.
After lunch, any gifts were exchanged and my Grandparents opened theirs. And, we ate divinity candy and chocolate pie and fruitcake cookies and coconut cake and I don't know what else and the grownups drank coffee and the kids listened to the adults talk and tell stories. And, then everyone went home and it was all over for another year.
Unless we all came back for supper...;-)