I have never know anything different than coming from such a huge family. My dad is one of 6 and my mom is one of 5, so holidays have always been fun, and casual family dinners turn into dozens of people crowded into a room laughing uncontrollably. I have 16 cousins on my dad's side and 11 cousins on my mom's side. I was so close to both sets of my grandparents, known as "nana" and "papa" on both sides, still being some of the most important people in my life. I always thought they weren't like grandparents to me but real people who I loved spending time with.
My parents have always been so good and ensuring I have a strong relationship with both sides of my family as they both value the many important aspects of having a close family. My dads family lives a bit farther away but that does not mean we don't see them. We see them all the time and it just makes the time we have together that much better. My moms family all live in with a 1-hour radius except my uncle who lives in Florida.
We have always said Thanksgiving with my dad's side. It is actually my favorite holiday as the main focus is just on the food and company you share it with, something I occasionally see get lost in Christmas. We spend Christmas Eve with my mom's dad after the 4:30 mass and Christmas day with all of my moms' side at my grandparent's house. We spend "Connly Christmas" on the following Saturday with my dada side and everyone sleeps at my house, this is truly one of my favorite days of the whole year. We spend Easter with my mom's side and we all go to my grandparent's house. I usually bake cupcakes for this.
Although we have no shortage of Sunday dinners, graduation parties, birthdays, and special events. I am truly so thankful for all my cousins who are some of my best friends. I couldn't imagine it any other way.