Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Moffit Family Christmas Party


For the last several decades (longer than I've been alive) my grandmother's family has had a family reunion/Christmas celebration the Saturday before Christmas. Well, it's usually the Saturday before Christmas except the odd year when that Saturday falls too darn close for comfort - and travel. Like this year. I've been going to this reunion every year since I was an overactive baby in my mother's womb. (I bet I was making stories up in my head even then.)

And this year was no different. And it was beautiful. Maybe I appreciated it more because two of those family member have died recently (my uncle while I was in Reno and my great aunt just a couple of days ago). Seeing the others was a reminder how blessed we all are to have each other and to be alive. I supervised DQ and her cousin handing out the grab bag gifts everyone brings for the kids ages newborn to 12. I chatted with the most charming 6 year old you ever want to meet. (Though I'm not sure the little boys in her first grade class that she knocks down so she can give 'em a kiss would agree. Oh, my...I spent a lot of time laughing with this little doll.) I visited with my grandmother who I see rarely as she lives on the other side of the state. Grandma Lucille is in her 80s and loves my books. (She got a huge grin when I gave her a copy of Deal With This and said the cover model was a hunk. LOL)

I visited with aunts and uncles and great aunts and my single remaining great uncle. I didn't take as much time with cousins (though I did chat with some), but you know...I felt the need to connect with the older generations while I still can. Okay, and yes...the little ones got some attention too, but that's a necessity, you know? My sisters were there with their families as well and it made me proud to be a member of my immediate family. My sisters and I had baked the turkeys and the hams (yes, multiple - it's a really big group of people) this year and my two older sisters made the gravies. Yum! My grandmother made my favorite - seafood salad. It's a two day recipe and despite her age, she keeps making it and I'm always grateful. ;-)

It's really special how supportive they all are about my writing. My grandmother, great-aunts and aunts are some of my staunchest readers. What a blessing! They're also just very special people, from my aunt who is raising her grandson to my great aunt who continues to donate time to teens at risk even though she can no longer drive herself anywhere and has to rely on others for things she never had to before.

My sisters and I talked about how important it is to keep this kind of thing going within our own very large immediate family. We currently get together every year on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts, share a wonderful meal and celebrate the gift of life we've all been given. We also have a lot of fun. Every year, at some point during the celebration, we watch the movie White Christmas. Last year, my sisters and I did our rendition of the "Sisters" song for my mother as part of her gift. It's a good thing I'm a writer and not a physical entertainer is all I've got to say. :) We know that Christmas Eve may not work as a family gathering day once our own children start to marry and having/adopting little ones - so we've got our collective eye to the future to make sure we don't get scattered like a lot of big families can.


But tonight (or rather this morning - it is after midnight)...I'm going to say another prayer of thanks for my family - all of them! And tomorrow, I'm having dinner with my mom, who has had a downturn in her health. But she always rallies and continues to bless us with her presence by the grace of God. :)

What have you been doing this weekend? Or what do you plan to do?


Hugs,
Lucy
Who is grateful for all of you as well!

46 comments:

Maureen said...

Hi Lucy!
Your family gathering sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, we don't have a large extended family so it will be our immediate family on Christmas day. Today I think we will finally decorate the tree which has been sitting naked in the living room until I can get everyone together.

Nathalie said...

Family gatherings must be great :) I have a small family, so we don't do things like that.

I am trying to study... which is almost impossible!

Lily said...

I am so late on my gift shopping, that is what mom and I will be doing today.

Dev said...

What a great thing for your family to do! It sounds like you all have such a good time at the party!

I come from a huge extended family but it's rare when we all get together. But that doesn't mean we're not in each other's business almost everyday ~ we have a phone chain and it seems like we all know what everyone is up to at any given time.

Initially, I didn't have any plans at all for yesterday but that changed quickly. I went from having a much-needed slug day to taxiing and running errands pretty much all day long. Today, I have a few hours and then I have 2 parties to go to ~ one is a baby shower; and the next is a welcome home party for my best friend's son who is home from Iraq.

Joyce said...

I come from a small family so it's nice to hear about large families. I'll keep your mom in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully I am wrapping some presents today. I tend to put it off.

Laura K said...

We're trying to get unburied from the unsuspected snowfall yesterday here in Chicago. My pugs took one look at it yesterday, promptly put their tails up, and gave me the expression "you can't think I'm going out there"!! I think my brother and I will have to pick up a pug and take it out bodily. Added to this, our snowblower conked out! On a postive note, it's nice to see international winners in your 12 days contest. I'm crossing my fingers that I can get out today and do some food shopping.

CrystalGB said...

I am behind on my Christmas shopping so I am trying to do some shopping.

Jen in WA said...

My weekend is pretty laid back. Last night I went to a hockey game (our team lost, but we did walk out of the arena with a hockey puck that narrowly missed my head). Today I'm headed to church and then will catch up on all those chores that got ignored during the week.

Amy said...

Hi Lucy,
Your family gathering sounds great. This weekend I finished up with some Christmas Shopping.

The weekend before Christmas we will go on Saturday and celebrate with my family.
On Sunday we will celebrate with my hubby's mom, dad, sister, brother in law, 5 nieces and one nephew in law.
On Christmas Eve Joe and I have our own Christmas and on Christmas Day we go to his paternal grandmother's which is a tradition in his family. His grandmother had 12 children and she is now in her 80's with great, great grandchildren. Almost everyone in the family goes so it is a very large gathering. Everyone brings potluck and we all play dirty Santa. It is a lot of fun

Susan said...

Hi Lucy!
Your family gathering sounds like it's wonderful fun! I come from a very small family. Christmas Eve is when my Dad's side of the family gets together for a traditional Slovak dinner. There is only my grandmother, my uncle & his son left, so it is a very special evening. Mom's side isn't much bigger but we also get together to exchange gifts.

You are so right to spend extra time with the older generation of your family. It's time that you will always remember long after they are gone.

I hear a book calling to me to read!

Judy F said...

Lucy, your family sounds wonderful. mine is pretty small. A niece and her family that we haven't seen in years is coming to town hopefully for christmas. Its been a stressful year for my family and I hope christmas is a smooth one.

Jenn said...

This weekend I have spent most of my time trying to stay warm. Today my family is relaxing after going to church this morning. We are watching Christmas movies and just hanging out together. I'll be seeing all my extended family on Christmas Eve. My youngest sister and her family are in florida and don't get to come up for Christmas but the rest of us will be together. We don't have nearly as much fun though as it sounds like your family does.

Jane said...

We're just staying at home to avoid the snow and sleet. Maybe watch some sports.

Estella said...

I cleaned house yesterday and today I watched some football.
Dumb Seahawks lost!!!!

Your family gathering sounds like a special event.

Eva said...

Wrapping gifts and getting ready for family gathering too! :)

Cathy said...

Yesterday was the big family event with my sister's. We meet up at my parent's house for great food, yummy desserts and lots of laughter. Get to coast for a few days until my kid's arrive home, which gives me time to track down some good stocking stuffers.

Cryna said...

The family gathering sounds great. Right now there is just my parents and sister here so it is a quiet Christmas for us.

Jennifer Y. said...

Well, today is my birthday...the big 2-5...and I spent the weekend at my brother's house with family to celebrate. Today we braved 30 degree temps and hung Christmas lights...LOL. Apparently Georgia's weather cannot make up its mind...80s last week, 30s today.

Brandy said...

It sounds as though your family gathering was a resounding success! I wish ours was like that.
This weekend we had my Daughters hair cut and tonight we are driving an hour away to see McAddenville (NC). A very famous Christmas light feature near us.

anne said...

What a wonderful celebration. How fortunate to have so many family members together. Enjoy and all the best.

ruth said...

It sounds so wonderful. I love reading about your reunion and this is so gratifying and warm. Keep safe and well and enjoy your holiday.

pearl said...

What a fabulous family gathering. It sounds memorable and I am sure that this event will be remembered for a long time. Have a wonderful holiday.

petite said...

I would love an event like that. We have a very small family but your reunion is lovely and beautiful to read about.

ellie said...

Since it is my birthday weekend it has been a memorable weekend of fun. I loved your photo and it was interesting to read about your family and this special reunion.

catslady said...

That sounds wonderful. It seems to get harder every year getting everyone's schedules together but we try. This sunday was steeler football but alas we lost. I still have at least one more shopping day and have to still do my cards and wrap presents.

Sue A. said...

Your family gatherings sound like a great happy time.

When we were kids our extended families got together but that was the past. And in the present, I need to clean the house, but I keep putting it off.

Pamk said...

Sounds like you had a blast. Our family is very small so there are not lots of us around. We try to get together every year and usually manage once or twice

KimW said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your great Aunt. I lost my aunt a week ago. It's a very tough time and more so for my uncle. I wish him peace and hope we can make his days a little easier. Like you I treasure those family get togethers so much now. It looks like you had a great time.

Virginia said...

We have out family gatherings on Christmas eve at my family. My husbands family on Christmas day. I have spent the weekend wraping the gifts and getting ready for Christmas. I will start making the dishes next weekend for the dinners.

jenna said...

Your post today is uplifting and gives me great pleasure. Big family events are so important and yours looks wonderful. We had a fun weekend filled with outings.

sabrina said...

When I read your fun post today it brought back memories from way back when we did those family reunions. Most are gone now and we have a small celebration now. I thoroughly loved your descriptions and wish you well.

Jennifer said...

Hi Lucy -
Wow, that all sounds so nice! My immediate family is pretty small - so generally during the holidays we have/go to a lot of pot lucks with family friends. This weekend, however, I spent driving home, then holed up because of the winter storms.

Stephanie said...

That is such a wonderful tradition. This weekend I tried to get the rest of my shopping done and finish the little odds and ends with decorations. It will be Christmas before we get together with family.

PattiF said...

This time of the year I really miss my mom....we always had fun together during the holidays. Going out shopping, driving around to see the lights and baking cookies. My brother lives in the area with his family, but it's just not the same.
I've tried to keep a few traditions for myself, and use the holidays as a way to reflect on the past and the future.

Happy Holidays!

Tina said...

I plan to get some much needed sleep in before the holiday week cruntches in, get those last minute decorations up. and hopefully find my floor ...

Heather said...

What a wonderful tradition, Lucy. I hope you and your sisters can keep it alive as the years go by. I have a huge family and rarely see any of the half siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all. When my maternal grandmother was alive, there was always a huge gathering at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the family was fractured after her death. I have cousins I've not seen in 20 years!

I do see some of the sibs, nieces, nephews and greats once in a while, but that too is rare. Seems like the only time people get together anymore is for a funeral--a side commentary on the era in which we live!

I envy you your family Christmas party!

As for what I've done this weekend...we had another two inches of snow (two feet and counting!), so I mostly curled up under an afghan and watched holiday movies: The Muppet Christmas Carol, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Christmas List, Snowglobe...I'm pretty sure there were a couple more in there. *g*

tara said...

Hi Lucy!!
I have not stopped by your blog in a while....life you know!! What a very touching Family Christmas blog!! You can tell you love and cherish your family and they adore you!! Of course what in not to adore, right??? LOL
I hope your mom's health starts to improve!! She is such a sweet lady and I will keep you all in my prayers!! hugs....

Cherie J said...

Actually, Saturday was spent taking my 4 year old to the doctor and then to the emergency room. Turns out he has a virus but he gave us a bit of a scare. What mad it really tough is that I am recovering from a bad cold so I have been so miserable. Unfortunately, Saturday was supposed to be a day to catch up on cleaning, wrapping gifts and sending cards. Instead, I am even further behind. Not the greatest of weekends.

Cherie J said...

Actually, Saturday was spent taking my 4 year old to the doctor and then to the emergency room. Turns out he has a virus but he gave us a bit of a scare. What mad it really tough is that I am recovering from a bad cold so I have been so miserable. Unfortunately, Saturday was supposed to be a day to catch up on cleaning, wrapping gifts and sending cards. Instead, I am even further behind. Not the greatest of weekends.

lidia said...

Lucy,
What a wonderful gathering! Your family has nice traditions. It is great to see you and your sisters continuing them.

During the holidays I love traditions. Somehow those make the celebrations more special. Hopefully everyone enjoys the special time with family members. All of us are so busy that sometimes we forget the simple things that make everyone happy.

You're right, once your kids are grown and start to have families of their own, you will need to change/modify your celebrations. In the meantime enjoy them while you can!

Cheers!

Janie said...

Hi Lucy,
I am new to your blogspot. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your books. I spent this past weekend shopping for Christmas.

Laurie B said...

It sounds like a wonderful family tradition you all have. Our family does a large family celebration every other year. Unfortunately this year is not one of those years.
I did tonnes of Christmas baking this weekend so I am finally done all of that as well. Wahoo!

Dena said...

What a wonderful tradition your family has Lucy.

Autumncat said...

Your family gatherings sound like fun! I always look forward to my family gathering each holiday season. It's one of the few times when we can get almost everyone together. :-)
Happy Holidays!

Angie-la said...

Traditions are what make family time together so special. I hope my sons pass ours on to their families!
Since my DH's granny died, we don't have big family get togethers anymore. I miss those.

Lucy Monroe said...

We have a lot of traditions around this time of year and most of them are thanks to my oldest sister, who is the Queen of Tradition and an amazing organizer besides. I am so blessed to be her little sister. LOL