Family Party Time

For as long as I can remember my family has been putting together parties for just about any occasion.  Most often we are celebrating for the usual birthdays, and an occasional anniversary.  But we can find many reasons to have a get together.  When someone lands a new job, someone bought a new car, the start of spring or fall, a round of chemo is completed successfully, a Super Bowl party even though hardly any of us follow football all season long.  The reasons are limitless and endless.  We love to get together, and eat food.

 I’m sure all of you have family get together’s  too.  Isn’t amazing how food, family and conversation just all go together so naturally?  Now in my family,  my parents used to be the “party house”, but they have since retired and are living the RV lifestyle.  So, now my travel chum and I get to host most of the family get togethers.  My brother calls our house “the party pad”.   We love, love, love having everyone over and being the house “to go to”.  Even with the kids friends we have been known to be the hang out house.

 And the other amazing fact about family party time is the place where everyone congregates.  In our house it’s the kitchen around the counter where all of the snackies get laid out. (You know the one we remodeled recently!)  Or during the heat of the summer it’s out by the pool.  I’m sure lots of families hang out in or near the kitchen, as that’s where all the food is!!

We have had some parties where there is a theme to the food.  A dinner where everyone brought only appetizers was quite memorable.  We had so much food leftover I think everyone went home with an assortment.  Kind of like a Christmas cookie exchange!  And of course there are certain dishes when you have a pot-luck style that certain family members are famous for.  In our group we have Asian coleslaw, sour-cream potato salad, homemade salsa, apple pie, French Pear Pie, spinach bake, and I’m sure a host of other favorites that I am forgetting.  And of course as the host house you always worry about having enough food for everyone.  Inevitably there is a ton more food than you need and you send your family home with leftovers!!

 The party times are surrounded by our favorite music; lots of classic rock and that usually leads to some dancing.  Then maybe a few games of Wii bowling, or more importantly a bowling tournament including prizes.  Everyone gets in on the tournament including the grandparents.  Oh and the favorite outdoor game that everyone likes to play together is Bocce.  When all of the kids were younger we used to do quite a bit of karoke, but the interest in that one has gone by the wayside lately.  Rock Band on the xbox 360 has taken it’s place.

 Sometimes on special occasions we have a “special” DVD presentation that a family member has put together for a special birthday or anniversary.  The DVD will include montages and collections of pictures from years past, set to some great music.  And there’s usually not a dry eye in the house when we are done watching, we always have to get the kleenex out for all of the girls.

 Oh and I cannot forget how my family loves to bring in a surprise guest now and again.  My lovely sister, Laura, lives in Montana with her husband Steve. 

We don’t get to see them too often, and Laura loves to surprise us with an occasional visit.  She has come walking down the street talking to me on her cell phone, wishing me a “happy birthday”, and then there she is at my front door.  She has surprised my parents in a similar manner a few times too.  One year for my Mom’s birthday we wrapped her up like a huge present and surprised my Mom for her birthday!!  That was a good one too.  The highlight of this year for me was when Laura surprised me with a visit at my 50th birthday party!!!  It was awesome! 

The party pad has been so fortunate to host many amazing parties for many occasions, and I know we’ll be hosting for the special occassions for many years to come.  Hopefully you and yours are surrounded by amazing family members to celebrate with too.

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