A few years ago I decided to host a large Christmas holiday. I have had a few small gatherings, but not hosted ‘The Family’. As a child at the Jersey Shore, our house hosted nearly all the Christmases. It was an old B&B, to which I alluded in a previous post. The old house fit so many people, it never seemed cramped, we would purposefully get the tallest tree we could find. Many years we would remove a drop ceiling tile and stick the point of the tree in the recess in order for it to fit. We would crowd the living room of 213 4th Ave in Belmar, NJ (yeah, one of the towns which was ironically flooded and had its beaches decimated by a storm named Sandy). Where the house was, two now exist, if that helps with the visualization of size. This year my son and wife and I cut down our own 10 foot tree.
In an attempt to recreate those old Christmases, I offered to host a large family, my own. I created an event on Facebook no less. At the time it seemed like a great idea. Using Facebook to create an event has since proven a little childish. I will not be completely recreating the old New Jersey Christmas, but I will have almost 20 in my home. This will be the second Christmas with my wife and the first for her with this many of my family. I had to set a few ground rules first. Some people call them boundaries. My family typically operates without them.
I started last night with confirmation. Yes I’m Catholic, but that’s not what I mean. I confirmed my arrival list like a hotel might. I got one cancellation. As I type this I got a FB notification that my “little sister’ cousin and her fiance will be attending, via rented car from NJ. My other cousin and her husband, mother and three kids will be attending. My parents will be coming. My Uncle from South Florida will be here. My Aunt from Sarasota will be here. Add my Wife, son, and I, and it will be a full house.
I have a dear friend who is letting me use his house as my guest quarters. This means that my guests will not have to pay for lodging when they arrive. My friends travel during the holidays and perform music for churches and community centers. We will watch their house and feed their pets, while using it. Win Win. I have gotten all the responses I need to move forward, of course I will check it twice. I already know who’s naught and who is nice. By the way, Santa needs to know that original meaning of the word nice…according to this great site is not how he means it.