For Thanksgiving, usually someone volunteers to host the big turkey dinner, and then the rest of the families chip in by bringing something. This year, Mom and I hosted, so we made the turkey and stuffing (and corn bread rolls...yumm!) while mashed potatoes, green beans, yams, etc. came from the various other segments of our family. It was pretty awesome this year, despite all the work Mom and I had to do. I re-organized the kitchen completely so things finally made sense (since it's been, you know, a year since we moved in =P), and then I helped Mom clean the house and cook for the big dinner. Unfortunately, my cousin living in South Carolina couldn't make it, which was rather sad, since she just had her second baby a couple of months ago and I haven't seen little Adriana in person yet. But the people that did arrive had fun, and the turkey turned out perfect. We talked and laughed around the table like always. It was really great to see everyone.
Towards the end of the night, we exchanged names for our Christmas party. With as much as the family has expanded, we can no longer afford to get everyone a gift like we did when I was very young and my cousins were fewer. So now we exchange names and we set a dollar limit, like a Secret Santa. Luckily the individual I pulled only put down gift cards on her list, so she'll be easy to buy for.
Today, Mom and I passed out cold all day. I sat around reading House of Hades by Rick Riordan (which you all need to read right now because it's amazing) while Mom took a nap on the couch. Then Maggie texted me and told me she was at her dad's house only a few minutes away, so I raced over and spent a few hours there. It was awesome. One of her cousins (at least, I think he's a cousin...Maggie?) asked what LARPing is, and it turned into a two-hour discussion. The poor kid looked like a deer in the headlights once we all finished telling him about not only LARPing, but also Cosplay, conventions, Furries, Morphicons (don't ask, it's gross...), LAGing, and D&D. Then, after we finished telling him everything, Maggie's step-mother comes in with the most hilarious line of the night. She comes in from the kitchen and hears the word LARPing, and asks, "Wait, what's LARPing?" We all were nearly rolling on the floor, we were laughing so hard. It was pretty funny.
Christmas, on the other hand, is an entirely different ordeal with us. I've heard my aunt/godmother say that missing Thanksgiving is forgiveable, but missing the Christmas party is a crime punishable by death. She was only joking (I think), but since that particular aunt is a police officer and, therefore, has immediate access to guns, handcuffs, tasers, and batons, I don't think I'll take my chances anytime soon. Similar to Thanksgiving, we all gather at the host's house, which rotates every year according to the age of the original family sibling (i.e., my dad still counts, so Mom's house is still in the rotation). Everyone still brings something to help with the meal, and we all bring the gifts for our particular exchange person. It's more talking and laughing and catching up, of which we have a lot to do, since some of us only meet up during these parties. It's good fun, and if I ever moved away far enough that I couldn't attend anymore, I think I would go crazy. You know, after my aunt police officer murders me.
So Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope your Thanksgivings were awesome and that you all had the chance to indulge!