Well, it's that time of year again. Where my ginormous family who all live a maximum of 15 miles from each other, all come together into my grandmother's not so large house to celebrate the first of the holiday season: Thanksgiving.
I'm going to give you a play by play of a normal Thanksgiving day with the Holzhauer's. Bare with me, sometimes things get a little confusing, so try and keep up. And while you are reading, think about your family and their crazy antics.
So, lets start with my mom. She is always the first one to show up somewhere. You tell her the party is at two in the afternoon, she will be there at 1:45. I have always teased her about this, because, well I don't like losing that fifteen minutes I could have to stay in my bed. Usually, we get to sit and chat with my grandma for a few minutes before the crowd rushes in, and this always entails my grandma's ginormous dog, Max jumping on me, and my grandma screaming at him to stop. Then, it's usually my uncle Bill who shows up next. He takes a seat in his specifically assigned seat he's been sitting in for the last 52 years and watches football. Next Aunt Caryn, Uncle Fran and Jonathan walk in. After them, my Uncle Dan, Aunt Brandi, and cousins Tori, Daniel, and Josh walk in. This is usually about the time my Uncle Dan tries to pull some karate move on my Aunt Caryn as his way to say hello. Oh, I forgot to mention she is a black belt, and Uncle Dan tries to fight her and never wins. Usually next is my aunt Sue and cousin Christina, and this is when all the really really good food comes into the house. Not that everyone else's food isn't good, but my Aunt Sue really knows how to make a meal. At this point, everyone is pretty much settled and catching up with each other, and act like they don't see each other at least three times a week. Max, the dog, is usually standing up at the table at this point, stealing as much food as possible before getting caught by someone who is never my grandma. Just an FYI, she claims she doesn't feed him table food... good one grandma.
Anyway, this is usually the time where my grandma starts getting antsy because her youngest, my Uncle Mark hasn't arrived yet. And every year she is surprised that he doesn't show up at the time arranged, and he probably never will. Once they arrive, my Aunt Sarah and cousins Taylor, Patrick, and Madeline get bombarded by people trying to say hi to them. I always know to wait until Madeline is done being shy, and attacked by the millions of kisses to go say hi to her. Usually, at this point, Mark and Dan get to say their hellos, and they greet each other with "Richard." Let me clarify one thing, there is no one named Richard in our family, and this Richard joke has been around since 2005. I don't know the details behind it, but usually, if they say something dumb, or they are greeting each other, Mark and Dan call the other one "Richard."
Now, if we're lucky, at least one of my Uncle Bill's sons will make an appearance. There is Dave, Pete, and Nick, and I could not tell you the last time the three of them were all in the same room at once, but it's okay because when they do come around they're a riot. Okay, so at this point we are about to go eat but go around and say something we are thankful for, and everyone gets all emotional, and then we stuff our faces with food. Then, everyone starts winding down, and gets fidgety from the amount of food they ate, except for Josh and Jonathan. For some reason, they have all of the energy in the world and continue to run around my grandma's two bedroom house, causing lots of yelling. While they run around, someone usually FaceTimes my Aunt Donna and Uncle Mike who live in Florida, and the phone gets passed around and you pretend like you can actually hear what they're saying, and then pass it on to the next person.
You usually can't get in a lot of words with my family, and if you do, someone will most likely talk over you or interrupt you. Slowly after we eat, half of us start heading out to other family gatherings, and the others wait for six o'clock, so we can do our annual tradition of bowling. We all meet at a bowling alley, bowl a game, sometimes two. The adults get a bucket of beer and have the worker put on the football game. After bowling, we all go to our respective homes and prepare for Christmas, in just one short month.
So there you have it, folks, my family is giant and dysfunctional. This year I decided to sit on the sidelines and see what really goes on during the holidays with the Holzhauer's, and let me tell you, I love my big crazy family. Here's to having a month to mentally prepare for Christmas, wish me luck!