Every year, there are several occasions which are "obligatory" when it comes to gathering family together. Holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are always mandatory, as are birthdays of children under the age of twelve. Since our family is expanding at a cosmic pace, the list of required attendances does as well. What I don't understand, is why the women in the family look forward to such events, when they spend an enormous amount of energy planning, preparing, and presenting such extravagant feasts. They work themselves to exhaustion and then worry about how things turned out wrong, people who are inconsiderate, and the damage done to the property that they spent hours cleaning for the event. I heard one person respond to "How was your Thanksgiving?" with "It's over!" It is almost like child-birth. The agony of nine months is forgotten after the arrival, and it seems plans are in the works for a brother or sister. Women have a great mechanism for forgetting the bad, and being excited about doing it all over again. Amazing!
Venues that are too small, or too valuable to risk potential damage to furniture, carpeting, etc. always seem to be considered for the ordeal. Between people who show up late, people who show up with surprise guests, and people who show up with nothing, a man would declare that there would be no more such events. Women, on the other hand, merely discuss the atrocities with frustration in their voices, and then discuss the next time on the calendar for a repeat performance. And, God forbid that a man suggest reducing the size of the gatherings, buying gifts for children under eighteen only, or having the family reserve a room at Golden Corral or some other inexpensive venue. Why not let others cook, clean up, and be able to leave when you want? That way, it doesn't matter who comes late, who brings nothing, or who acts like a jerk: you can just leave!
The older we get, the more traditions seem to be nostalgic high spots in our memory. Perhaps it is early dementia, but to me, it does seem pretty silly to subject ourselves to repeated abuse. I prefer a small gathering of less than twelve, repeated on non-successive days such as Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. That way, you only have to dread one of the occasions and can enjoy the other two. I don't think I will suggest this, though, because I learned a long time ago that what a man thinks about such things doesn't matter regardless of logic and practicallity. Just be quiet, attend, be polite, and don't make a pig of yourself. Trust me; there is definitely more peace between gatherings that way. God bless and hang in there guys, Jesus is coming back soon, and He will choose how to celebrate properly. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!