Real Life

Family Get-Togethers: The Love, The Food, and The Claustrophobia


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October is here, which can mean different things to different people. For you it could signify the autumn routine of pulling out sweaters and jeans.

For others, a time for bundling up in mittens and scarves to fight off the crisp mornings. For most, it kicks off the season of family get-togethers. If your family is anything like mine, here are a few things you likely experienced at your family gatherings this holiday season.

  1. The demotion to the kiddie table

It’s the place where you’ve been eating your holiday meals since you were four. It’s where all the rowdy young’uns sit so that the parents can have adult conversations over turkey. It’s the designated “kiddie table.” If you are among the youngest of the family, like myself, then you know where your place is during holiday meals. Once the TV trays and fold-up chairs come out, you’ve officially been demoted. On the bright side, you don’t have to sit squashed between the adult family members.

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thanksgivingtableInternet source: Kiddie Table
  1. Imbalanced body-to-furniture ratio

On my dad’s side I have four aunts, one uncle, my parents, grandmother, sister, two cousins, and myself. Somehow, we try to fit in one room which holds only a couch and three chairs. No one in my family ever seems to think this part through. Why don’t we just move to the bigger sitting room? Instead people end up sitting on the floor. Maybe being sat so close together isn’t such a bad thing. After all, it does make us feel more connected.

 

  1. Everybody say “cheese”

Casual weekends together just never happen anymore. Everyone lives in different towns and when the day finally comes to reunite with the people you love, you set your alarm to give yourself extra time to get ready. In the extra time you plan out a suitable outfit (comfy but not too casual), curl or straighten your hair (freshly washed), and apply some makeup for when the cameras come out (they will come out). No doubt a few aunts will want pictures of their nieces and nephews! You’ll be dragged into doing a mini photoshoot around the house. You’ll sit in front of a fireplace with your arms around a cousin. On the couch so grandma or grandpa can sit in between you all. If it’s nice outside, then a picture laying in leaves is in order. By the end of it all, you may never want to smile again.

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tumblr_mz9c99niay1sksnpbo1_500Tumblr source: tua-suga-r
  1. Food, food, and more food

Surely, the images are flying through your head of all the delicious foods you’ll be seeing on the family dinner table. There’ll be turkey, potatoes, corn, carrots, squash, dinner rolls, gravy, and someone is definitely bringing a pumpkin or apple pie. (If you’re lucky there’ll be both.) Imagine it now­. Plates full of food that you will devour because it’s the holidays after all, and you have the right to enjoy it every last bite.

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Tumblr source: mischiefmanagedxxx
  1. The after-dinner walk

After a heavy dinner, most want to cuddle up and slowly drift off into a nap, or just sit around talking with the TV humming in the background. I’ve never experienced this nice lull after family meals. For us, it means power walking time! It could rain, it could snow, or be so warm you’re overheating, but the shoes must be tied up, mittens shoved into pockets, and grandma is surely telling you to do up your coat. The women are out the door in record time, walking a mile a minute, set on reaching their designated turn-around point before people (usually us teens) start complaining.

  1. A Moment Of Peace

You’re in a crowded house. You’ve been up since dawn and haven’t taken a break from helping in the kitchen or catching up on other people’s lives. It’s non-stop movement and chatter. There’s no room where you can escape the bustle. Finding peace can be challenging when the family gets together. Sneaking off to lock yourself away in the bathroom always seems like a great idea, but just remember to take a deep breath because soon they will all be going home and you’ll miss having them around.

There’s no arguing that family get-togethers can be overwhelming. The abundance of food, the endless photographs, and another year at the kiddie table can feel like too much; but remember the importance of family and you love them in spite of all these things. No matter how close you end up sitting, or how badly your legs cramp after the power walk, it’s all worth it. You get to spend uninterrupted time with the people you love and make fond memories to look back on for years to come.



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