Christmas Tradition #3: Brunch
This holiday tradition comes from my husband’s side, and it is spectacular! The actual date and location of Christmas brunch has shifted around throughout the years, but this tradition never disappoints.
There are 23 people who attend, including 13 grandchildren ranging in age from 14 to seven months. The only way to explain the sheer chaos of this event is mass pandemonium. Not only are the grandkids excited about being together and celebrating Christmas, but they are also sky high on the pound of candy they just received in their stockings from Grammy and Grandpop.
Grammy and Grandpop, my in-laws, are unlike any humans I have ever met. They are the most selfless, family oriented, generous people. Ever. I actually dare you to find someone more giving…good luck. It’s already like Christmas year round with these two, and now they have a reason to spoil their family. They’re like Santa on his best day: all the reindeer cooperate, Mrs Claus doesn’t nag him about his cholesterol, and the elves exceed their toy producing expectations.
As you can imagine, the mound of gifts for all the grands is an astonishing sight. Each kid writes a detailed Christmas list for Grammy, as early as August, and Grammy and Grandpop never disappoint! I wouldn’t be surprised if one Christmas we pull up to brunch and there are 13 brand new… well…moderately used vehicles there. One for each grandkid.
After the kids open their presents, they also exchange presents amongst each other. This is a really sweet tradition that leads us to the not-so-sweet tradition of when the ten adults play White Elephant.
You may have heard of White Elephant, but the general idea is each person buys a gift to exchange and everyone takes an orderly turn choosing or stealing a present. And I am the all time worst at this game. I ponder my white elephant gift FOR MONTHS! and every year it ends with Jacob pitying me by choosing my gift. For instance, one year I just knew everyone would love a portable hammock! I am now the proud owner of a portable hammock that has never been out of it’s packaging. Not this year, folks… my gift will be the object of everyone’s desire!
Now, this last part is simply an observation I have made over the course of our relationship, but it seems that the holidays bring out an extra zest for this idiosyncrasy. It’s no secret these people love to sing. Church hymns, the Eagles fight song, Van Halen… it honestly doesn’t matter. They’re basically the Von Trapp family. And maybe it wasn’t the singing that startled me at first, but possibly that everyone joins in and sings in choir-like unison. The first time I witnessed this, my brother-in-law (married Jacob’s sister) must have recognized the confused, slightly embarrassed look on my face. He immediately comforted me with these words that I’ve giggled about over the years, “These people are weird, but they are the best people you’ll ever meet.” Now-a-days I don’t even bat an eye, just join right in singing “Frosty the Snowman,” pretending like I know all the words.
To say I’m looking forward to this year’s Christmas brunch is an understatement. I’ll probably be so hopped up on sugar and Christmas spirit that I’ll lead the whole family in a round of “Joy to the World!”