While talking to a friend last night about Christmas and what each of our families do, I’ve found myself thankful of the over extended celebration my family tends to recreate every year. Everyone does something different over the Christmas season and that makes it special to them. For my family and me, it’s and overextended over exaggerated celebration (in true Gaul fashion of course). Some people may say it’s ridiculous and insane I would willingly spend that amount of time with my family, but for us, it’s really the only time we ever see one another anymore.
By now you’re probably wondering what in the world we do, well here it goes. It all starts over Thanksgiving. As long as I can remember we have always all gone to my grandparents for Thanksgiving, every sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc., had to be in attendance otherwise, you were pretty much not a part of the family. After eating a greater than 50 pound turkey (yes that’s a real thing), we nap, have conversations we probably shouldn’t, eat snacks, and go home.
Now for me, I see Thanksgiving just as a pre-cursor, a tailgate, to the real Gaul holiday celebration, Christmas. How does our Christmas go you may ask? Well we start off at the Ellport First Presbyterian Church, where we all have to go to Christmas Eve service with grandma and grandpa, which always turns into a laughing matter in some way or another. After this, we all pile into Aunt Eleanor’s little house for after church snacks and drinks, which usually lasts until after 11pm. Finally it’s Christmas day and after opening all of our presents in separate locations, we all pile into our cars and go to the grandparents again for another gigantic turkey, ham, and stuffed cabbage, followed by sleeping through A Christmas Story marathon, eating more snacks, going home, playing board games, eating more snacks, and probably drinking too much. It then comes to the day after Christmas, where we travel to Uncle Tom’s and Aunt Betty’s for another food filled day, which, when we were younger, was combated with ice skating and sledding. After stuffing ourselves this day, it comes to the day after after Christmas, where we all travel, once again, to Aunt Jodi’s for more food, incase we didn’t get our fill in the last few days. Finally, the day after after after Christmas comes where everyone travels to our home and we have our last day of food, breaking things while playing Just Dance, and inappropriate conversations until… New Years Day! Yep, one more day of family filled fun until Easter is held many months later at Aunt Jodi’s. What better way to spend the first day of a new year with the family that has gotten your through the most.
Sure, we do a lot for Christmas, you may think it’s overkill, but it has always been our normal schedule. We don’t see anything out of the ordinary. Now a days, it is really the only time I get to see my whole family now that we aren’t kids anymore. I couldn’t be more thankful for us to have carried on this tradition for over 20 years but it’s sad to think it may end soon. All of us cousins are grown up and going our separate ways, who knows, this could be our final Christmas extravaganza all together. Either way, I’m happy to know no matter where I may go in life, I can hopefully always come celebrate Christmas with my family either the day before, day of, day after, after, after, or new years day.