Every year, my great-grandma Casper has her Christmas party a few days before the actual holiday, so that all members of her posterity don't have to choose between it and other holiday festivities. Last night, we attended. The party is the same every year. Same menu. Same program. Same people, just older, and possibly with different significant others. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. I still don't know how Grandma Casper and Grandma Barnett (with the help of Grandpa Barnett) manage to make enough food to feed us all. This year, the guest list had 1 great-grandma, 2 grandparents, 5 of their 6 children, 2 spouses, 20 of their 21 grandchildren, 2 spouses, and 1 boyfriend. I don't even want to add all those up. We eat in shifts because there simply is not enough space to fit us all.And then the real fun begins. Grandma Barnett is incredibly well-versed in all things classical music. She taught (and continues to teach) all her grandchildren piano lessons, and encouraged our parents to get us involved in other instrumental activities as well. We have the makings of a family orchestra, although some (or all of us) are not very good, and haven't touched our instruments in years. Instead of acting out the nativity story every year, Grandma has put together a musical program, with readings of scripture by the grandkids. The orchestra sits in the kitchen, competing for space and attention, and the few remaining attendees sit in the living room, listening through the open folding door (what do you call that thing? It's like what covers a baptismal font).
Highlights of this year's Christmas program:
- Rachel (the youngest grandchild) singing "plug my ears" at the top of her lungs while performing said act through the first few numbers.
- Clark echoing Steven's scripture reading through his trombone.
- My aunt Kathleen attempting to keep the tempo up using a banana baton.
- Clark, during his turn at the piano, choosing his own speed and leaving the orchestra in the dust, as well as laughing too hard to play.
- My Dad describing his version of hell: making you play in the family orchestra.
- Clark reading his scripture in some sort of accent, prounouncing mother as "mahtheh" and myrh as "Muh."
*image from neatorama.cachefly.net