We had our annual Grandma Pat Christmas party this past weekend down in Kanab—it was great! I think we had more people than ever before; we counted about 80-plus people; everyone was there except for four husbands (my sweetheart included; he couldn’t get out of the weekend massage clinic). Shanna and my niece Cierra were without their husbands as well, so we drove down and back together, and had a blast. Cierra said she took her Kindle to read, but she had way too much fun chatting! So did I!
Visiting is one of the main reasons I love this annual gathering! I love catching up with all my parents and siblings and their children and grandchildren, seeing where everyone is and what they’re doing. Next to my beliefs, family is the most important thing to me, and so the time I spend with my extended family is very valuable!
One of the other highlights of Grandma Pat’s party is the food—we couldn’t possibly get together without plenty of tasty treats. Each meal is assigned to a family or families, and it’s fun to see what is cooked up every year. Sometimes we stick with traditional offerings and sometimes things get changed up a bit. This year Vonna and her family had Friday evening dinner, and they made a tasty “mock” Café Rio meal, which was fabulous! We all loved it!
Saturday was more food, more visiting, and a craft; we finished up some Ho Ho Ho banners that I’d actually started last year and didn’t get finished. Shanna put in a lot of time to get them ready to take down, and all people had to do was tie the pieces together, and they got to take home a gorgeous holiday décor item that hopefully will remind them of our family gathering for years to come! We also exchanged our year-in-review pages, which are scrapbook pages that each family creates, then makes copies for all the siblings so they can kind of keep track of everyone. I love this tradition because I love to see how our family is growing. . . Sara created our pages in My Digital Studio; you can check them out here.
The weather was beautiful as well, warm enough that the kids could even play outside a bit. I took a coat down with me and didn’t put it on once!
Saturday night was our traditional Christmas program. It changes a little bit every year, but you can always count on the nativity story (in some form or other), caroling, a talent show (the Gardner family was represented by the Douglass family, which sang a song while Seth played the guitar), and a slide show with photos that everyone sent in from throughout the year.
The weekend felt a little more busy this year, and as we talked about it, I think it’s because, like I mentioned, we had a bigger crowd than we’ve ever had before, and also because people stuck around a bit longer. The party officially begins on Friday night and goes into Sunday mid-day, but Saturday is the day that most people make it. This year, more people were there on Friday and more people stuck around through Sunday—I guess nobody wanted to miss out on any of the fun!