Friday, January 16, 2009

Extended Celebration

My younger son had a birthday recently. He turned seven. Given that males supposedly never grow up, this means he’s approaching his maximum maturity.

The thing I noticed about his birthday was the length. We celebrated on the actual day by going out for dinner and letting the birthday boy choose the destination. Christopher obliged, picking the only place we know of that has sushi and chicken wings. However, that was only the start of the festivities.

A few days later, on Saturday, Christopher’s birthday became a weekend affair. My wife (as if I would be any good at this) planned every detail of an action-packed day. She spent all day Friday cleaning house. (I tried to help and did an okay job of following instructions). On Saturday, we spent the afternoon at Laser Tag with his friends. For the evening, we entertained extended family (both now and future) at our house for dinner that evening. Christopher also had his first sleepover of a friend. By the end of the day, we were tired, Christopher was psyched, and our older son was looking forward to his birthday in May.

This isn’t the only extended celebration we experience. On Christmas, we opened presents Christmas morning and spent the afternoon and evening at my aunt’s in Alpharetta. The following morning, Friday, we drove to NC, having Christmas dinner at another aunt’s that night, opening presents at my Mom’s on Saturday morning, and again at my Dad’s on Sunday evening. (I worked remotely on Monday and we drove home that night.)

I remember Christmas and birthdays when I was younger. On Christmas, we woke up and opened presents. Then, we would go to maternal grandparents (later, my aunt’s, after my grandparents passed) for the turkey and more presents. As enjoyable as the festivities were, they lasted but a day. Birthdays were the same way. It was one day and done, something which I rarely see now.

I’m not complaining and I understand how it is, particularly with Christmas. My parents are divorced. One brother-in-law has family in the Atlanta area. The other brother-in-law has family close to where my parents reside. Coordinating all of this is a lot of work. It’s fun, but the time its over, you feel as you’ve need days off just to recover from the holidays.

I shouldn’t say anything though. The many gatherings are indicative of the amount of family I have and a wanting to engage in celebration. We should all be so lucky.

So, dear readers, how about you? Do you have extended holidays/celebrations and how do you enjoy it?

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