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Christmas used to be a bit smaller and a lot simpler when there weren’t very many of us. Back when we were all just starting to date and get married to our significant others, we just came and ate and played and left. We all were in the Conway area as we were working on finishing up our degrees and trying to tackle the world as grownups.
Things are different now. Not any less fun, but different. We are spread out across states (and sometimes countries). We all have “real jobs” with grown-up schedules now. No more month-long breaks like back in the college days. We have all started our own families and are journeying in our own adventures in life.
But for three days every Christmas at our Arkansas Cabin Christmas, we hike, we eat and we play. We enjoy time together. Everyone pitches in and brings a few decorations to make it feel like home. Each family brings games, music, snacks and is responsible for cooking one meal to feed the whole crowd. Sometimes, we even get a little creative and theme our meals.
We have enjoyed several cabins around the state, including Ponca, Gilbert, Petit Jean and Fort Smith. All have been wonderful, memorable, and special in their own way. I’m sure none of the cousins will be able to forget watching their grown uncles teach them how to leg wrestle.
I can already smell the pumpkin bread, hear the children laughing and being rambunctious. I can feel “Grandpa patrol” corralling any of them that escapes the “kid only” zone. I’m looking forward to those late nights. All the brothers, sisters and cousins “pretending” to be asleep as they are each lined up head to toe and side by side, as all of us grownups pounce on the opportunity to sneak a second or third piece of pie. Oh yes, we settle in with the extra desserts and bust out the board games to be children ourselves much like the Christmases of old before all the babies.
For three days in December, all we do is kick back, relax, fellowship and celebrate Christmas. That, my friends, is better than any material gift.
What do you do for a large family Christmas?
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