Saturday, December 24, 2005

Gifts of the Season

Just a quick post here. We are heading out for a wintry adventure over the next several days. Being a non-believer, christmas does not carry the same significance to me as it does to christians. However, as mentioned earlier, I have always celebrated the day, mainly, and most importantly for me, as regards its opportunity to come together with family, to give, and, yes, to receive.

My side of the family could have a reunion in a phone booth. My parents have passed, my grand parents are long gone, and even my oldest brother died several years ago. I do have one older brother still with us and a # of nephews and a niece, but I rarely see any of those folks excepting my brother. Add in the fact that both of my parents were "only" children. No aunts, no uncles, no cousins.

However, my wife is the oldest of eight kids and her father, a good (and apparently fertile) Italian was one of eleven children. Most of my wife's brothers and sisters have had several kids, and now some of them are also having kids. (My own children are yet to go down that road.) So, I guess that makes me an uncle on my side and an uncle in-law on my wife's, and now I guess I'm a a "great" uncle and "great" uncle in-law if there is such a thing. Talk about culture shock.

Nevertheless, also, as I noted in a prior posting, I was the designated Santa at my wife's family christmas party last week. There were probably 35 or 40 people roaming around my brother in-law's house, eating, drinking and making merry (at least until the Colts lost.) I have another brother in-law who has a few acres on the south side of town where every July 4th he has a huge picnic for family and friends. Some of those parties have hosted in excess of 200 people. The evening always ends with a fireworks display that rivals some small town displays - like Beech Grove or Greenwood.

Over the last fifteen years or so, several of my wife's uncles have passed as have both my mother and father in-law. Their loss is sad and it has had an impact on the feel of these gatherings. But, we trudge onward, and still enjoy the coming together of everyone for a few hours a few times every year.

Merry (*) and Happy New Year

* You fill in the blank.


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