Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year.
Tim and I aren’t particularly big on entertaining. We aren’t against it, we just don’t entertain much (other than having some of the immediate family over). But each year on the Saturday after Christmas, we host the annual Cousin Party. We invite my siblings, my cousins, and their families, and whoever can come does. We usually end up with about 12-15 people, out of a possible 24 or so.
I just can’t think of a better party. My cousins are the kids I played with on every major holiday as a kid; they’re they only people (aside from parents/aunts/uncles) who have known me my WHOLE LIFE. We truly get along well and, though we don’t necessarily have much in common (well, those of us who don’t play online computer games) we genuinely like spending time together. Some of us get together through the year at holidays (with our parents’ generation too), on outings with the kids, etc. but this is the only time we hang out together without our parents. We get to be loud, laugh as much as we want, swear a little (watch out for those little ears though!), be kids again really. Throw in a big pot of chili and fixin’s, lots of snacks and desserts, a few drinks, usually game of some sort, and lots and lots of yapping.
The kids are all big enough that we don’t have to watch them like a hawk every single second. (And they’re always within earshot anyway.) Big Brother idolizes my cousin’s 10-year-old son and they love to play together, the 8-year-old daughter has fun playing with and “watching” Little Sister, and my 3-year-old nephew likes to play with everyone. The older three watched a movie in the evening, so the adults were able to get plenty of gab time in. It was great.
It was a nice long party, too – the first guest arrived a little after noon, and the last left at 1:30 a.m.
Funny thing is, I didn’t take a single picture! That’s actually a measure of how much fun I was having. (And, um, how little attention I was paying to the kids, I guess.)
Anyone else do anything like this? Do you still have a close relationship with a big group of cousins?