Having time to head home for a special weekend with my family meant so much to me. If you know me, you know that my family means more to me than anything in the world.

Every year when I was growing up we had a family Christmas party where everyone on my mom’s side of the family got together for dinner and an evening of fun.

Unfortunately, the last few years were skipped over so it was great to finally see everyone again! I think I was going into junior high when we had the last one.

Considering the time gap, I expected that some people would show up that I didn’t really know that well. That’s kind of a staple at family get togethers.

Anyone who has ever gone to a big family gathering knows there’s going to be some interesting stories to follow. Of course, my family Christmas party was no different. I just didn’t expect it to happen right away.

So the party starts at 6:00pm.

At 5:10 the doorbell rings. My dad opens the door and there is a teenage boy standing there alone that he’s never seen before.

The kid says nothing.

Dad: “Hi, are you here for the party?”
Teenager: “Yeah, I’m Madelyn’s boyfriend”
Dad’s thoughts…
A: Pretty sure I don’t know a Madelyn?
B: Who the hell is this kid?
C: Why didn’t I let Frank answer the door? (He always calls my mom Frank and nobody can remember why)
Dad: (Clearly confused) “Oh okay come on in”

My Grandma Donna came over early to help us set everything up, so she sits in the kitchen and talks to this kid for a while. Still not knowing who he is.

Meanwhile, my parents are in the basement trying to figure out if this poor soul is in the wrong house, or if Madelyn is someone were supposed to be expecting.

Still unsure, they go back upstairs and my dad proceeds to talk to him in hopes that the confusion on his family connection would unravel on its own.

And during this conversation, this kid gets a text from his girlfriend, Madelyn.

The poor kid was supposed to pick her up and bring her to the party, but got the story wrong and ended up at our house an hour early all by himself.

We figured out that Madelyn is a daughter to someone who has married into the family in the last year. Therefore, we hadn’t met them yet. (The newly weds have a total of 10 kids so we’re gong to need a little more time to memorize names, haha.)

Family Christmas Party - Pile of shoes

So now that this shindig is off to such a great start, the rest of the gang shows up and the house is finally full of 80 people talking and laughing together – some of which I didn’t know.

But I could tell some of them didn’t know me either so it was kinda this nice bond of like ‘I don’t know you and I know you don’t know me so were just gonna be glad were on the same page here and roll with it.’

Then we all ate way too much food, reminisced on the mems from many years past, and kept the good time rolling.

Family Christmas Party - Grandma and Grandpa

Next up: Santa.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas party without Santa, we had him at this party every year when I was growing up.

My mom didn’t want to just get a random “Santa for hire” off of craigslist because this person is coming into our home.

So my mom sweet-talked my dad’s brother, my Uncle Kent, into this Santa gig in exchange for booze.

Now, my Uncle Kent is a truck driver with a sailor’s mouth.

He has no filter.

So my dad and I go out into the garage and help him stuff his belly and get all dressed up in the Santa suit my mom got – this thing was pretty legit!

Family Christmas Party - Photos with Santa

We take him downstairs and in through the basement door. All the kids went wild (of course.)

Kent did really well. He didn’t curse at any of the youngins. He didn’t give away the Santa secret. Nor did he complain about all the pictures and kids sitting on his lap.

Although at this time I wish he did for sake of the story.

Santa to a little girl receiving her gift and sitting on his lap
Santa: “Have you been a good girl this year?”
Little girl: “No.”
Santa: shrugs shoulders “Okayyy. Next.”

That was about as good as it got, haha.

Family Christmas Party - Kids with Santa

Santa left, got his beer, and everyone else mingled for a while longer before heading home.

Except for two of my mom’s cousins. We broke out the wine and sat around the kitchen counter for four hours telling all kinds of stories and polishing off the rest of the dessert table.

Family Christmas Party Celebration

I wouldn’t have traded this weekend for anything.

My family means more to me than I could ever describe in a blog post. I’m so thankful to have grown up surrounded by so many wonderful souls.

PS. Madelyn, if you’re reading this, we welcome you and yours into our family with open arms. Sorry for the little mishap but thank you for the great laugh! You all fit in here perfectly.

Family Christmas Party Group Photo

Thanks for reading!

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