There are so many words to describe the Christmas Eve get-together with the Ottopal side of the family (mom’s side) and here are a few of those words:
Going to Sugartit, Kentucky to spend time with the Ottopal family on Christmas Eve is an evening that I look forward to and think about weeks in advance. Sometimes there is even strategy involved in how you are going to survive and other times you just have to go with the flow. Here are a few sample stories to help paint the mental picture.
When George and I first started dating (a little over 8 years ago) and we were approaching our first Christmas together I explained to him that my mom was going to bring his presents to the Christmas Eve family get together so he could open them there. You know how it is when you are dating and young, you have to coordinate every detail with the holidays and especially Christmas. Anyway, George got quite upset that he was going to have to open all his presents (yes, there were a lot of presents for him from my parents) in front of my family whom he had just met 5 months prior. I sort of laughed it off and told him that she was bringing them and no one watched you open the presents anyways. He didn’t understand but he soon would. At my grandma’s house (where we used to have Christmas Eve) the furniture needs to be moved and everyone sort of finds their place either on a chair, couch, or somewhere on the floor in the mix of it all and then all of a sudden there is wrapping paper flying EVERYWHERE. Kids are digging into presents, tissue paper flying around the bags and then when a few select cousins get a hold of the paper they tend to wad it into balls and start chucking them at each other. One minute you are happily opening a present and the next you are hit in the side of your head with a snowman paper wad. Ahhhhh…family! Did I mention it was loud? With about 35 people in one small space yelling “Thank you” or “oh good, I thought you would like that” it gets pretty intense.
George quickly learned that this chaotic mess of people, paper and presents was the event that he now wouldn’t trade for anything. Sure, I could have probably warned him a bit more but seriously there is really no way to describe this event you just have to be there.
I’ll be sure to take pictures and maybe a video of the madness of Christmas Eve with the Ottopal family so that you can get a better glimpse into this fabulous family event.