Family Tree

On Christmas we had dinner with the family, the family tree that is.

As I’ve mentioned before all my life I have been familiar with only one branch of the family tree: the American branch. Distance, and the miles of water between the other branches have prevented other meetings.

But, living here the only thing between us is a short drive and, with an invitation from Auntie and Uncle, we made our commitment for Christmas dinner.

As are many family gatherings this one was quite enjoyable, all of us gathered round the table, squeezed together in a way you could only put up with once in a while. We ate big.

John asked me if Christmas was different here than in America.

No, not really. We still squeeze around the table in rooms unaccustomed to holding so many people. We also eat big and share gifts. It’s fun. The only difference is that we don’t have crackers in the US.

For my American readers, crackers are little cylinder shaped presents with pulls at either end. When pulled apart they “crack” with a little black powder pop and out falls a present, a paper crown and a little piece of paper with a joke and some trivia bits written on it.

Q: What name does Paul Hewson go by?

A: Bono.


After dinner, and even during, Jessie and Johnny made good friends with their cousins Donald, Eileen and Iain. It seems Iain and Jessie had gotten to know each other at our last visit and simply carried on the shenanigans during their second encounter.

And, of course, there was wrestling. Jessie and Johnny love it and, once turned on, they are hard to turn off. They treated Donald and Iain like branches from the family tree and climbed all over them.

I think the boys had as much fun as the kids.

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