The W. Family Party is the annual Christmas party with all of my aunts and uncles, cousins, cousins kids, etc. The party has grown so big that it hasn’t been held at anyone’s house for the past few years and likely never will be again. I’m not sure what kind of politics were involved in deciding what to do for this year’s party but I know that each year there is some debate about whether to even have the party at all. At any rate, this year Grandpa Kent organized the party at Chuck-a-Rama in Salt Lake.
I haven’t been to Chuck-a-Rama in years. For some reason I had the impression as a teenager that Chuck-a-Rama was a nasty place to eat but in reality it was great. The place was packed but fortunately Grandpa Kent had reserved a private room. In addition to a private room, Grandpa Kent had arranged for a magician/comedian to come and do the entertainment in lieu of the traditional talent show and gifts. The magician was the highlight of the night. He didn’t do quite enough magic for me but what little magic he did was great – he had a live rabbit that he made appear out of nowhere and then he had a balloon that popped and out came a live bird. The kids seemed to like the jokes/comedy routines as they giggled themselves silly. Diana laughed so hard that she had to be taken out to go potty right when she was onstage with the magician.
One interesting aspect of the W. Family party is that the families all sit in their own groups for dinner. I think this is partly because parents need to help their children but also partly because people are more interested in talking to their sibilings/parents than they are in talking to their cousins or aunts/uncles. I only see my cousins once a year at the party so it’s pretty hard to generate more conversation than the perfunctory “How’s it going? Good to see you!” I can’t name the names of my cousins’ kids other than the oldest two or three great-grandchildren. Heck, sometimes I can’t even remember the names of my cousins’ spouses. If we’re going to continue to have these extended family parties in the future, it might be worth trying something to spur a bit more interaction amongst cousins. I liked the service project thing (making health kits or something like that) we did a few years back. Maybe do a service project type thing, have an entertainer, and continue to ditch the talent show and gifts.
Thanks to Grandpa Kent for organizing the party. I know it’s a tough political nut to have to deal with; however, the party this year definitely exceeded my expectations.