The Table

Every year around the Holidays, my Mama would get upset and worry about what was going to happen around the table…

My Auntie, (a wonderful colorful woman whom I loved much) was gregarious, very outspoken and what are the two things one shouldnt speak of in polite company? You guessed it.. Politics and Religion. Now Auntie was Mama’s older sister, she was as round as my mama was thin. Auntie was well read and probably purposefully planned what she would discuss at the Holiday table. She just loved getting everybody in  a dither. Well, my mama liked to keep the peace and Daddy didnt help her out much. Poor Mama had to hear the complaining before and long after the Holidays were over. She just dreaded the Holidays for that very reason.

We would be at my Grandparents house (Mama J & Daddy J) The table was extended so long it had to be moved to the long foyer to accomodate the huge family and of course I was at the childrens table for many years. That table had to be just so. It was all about the beauty of it, don’t you know. Had to be late late evening so the candles would give the right glow..The kids and I could smell the aroma of freshly baked goods and Daddy J’s special Eggnog, spiked of course just right with good whiskey. 

We would all stand in a circle, Daddy J would usually give the blessing and then we would all be seated. After everything was passed around, the talk would build from casual whatevers to loud voices. Yep, Mama’s family was gregarious, loud and an awful lot of fun! I couldnt wait to get to that big table, (the childrens table was close enough to see and hear everything, wasnt like in another room.) The table signified grown up.

I can see it now as if it were yesterday, Mama keeping busy and being quiet, Daddy smirking just a bit, Auntie doing her thing.. then of course, Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Bobby (mama’s brothers ) would give their two cents. Auntie’s response was like they just didnt have a lick of sense. On the way home, Daddy would then give his opinions about it all and his opinion of Auntie too, which really did not set too well with Mama, after all we can talk about our family but we don’t want anybody else to, including hubbys.

Now they are all gone, except for Uncle Bobby. I miss those days at that table.



  1. Hi Angie,
    Your post resonated with me a bit – especially about moms wanting to keep the peace and things having to be just right. My mother was a nervous nellie and something would always ruin the perfection for her and thusly the holiday. And yeah, we all wanted to get to that adult table during those holiday soires’ didn’t we? Nice post.

  2. Thanks WC.

    I laugh about it now, although the memories are endearing, Yeah, couldn’t wait to get to that table.

  3. That’s what I miss most during the holidays.
    I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters. 7 of us are married, the other 2 engaged. There are 15 kids between us siblings, aged from 3-20. That’s 34 people from my mom down to the youngest child. They try to get together at least once every other week so I am missing a lot. I miss my family.

  4. I loved this post; it brought back so many memories of holidays with the family.

  5. Wow, CR, Are you able to see them on Holidays? I miss mine too, There were 6 of us, 3 brothers, 2 sisters of which I am the!2 brothers gone now, Ssd to say but with so much distance hard to get together and then it is usually at a family members funeral. I hope you can see yours more often. Good Luck

  6. Brenda, Welcome, There are so many stories of family with all of us. I hope your memories are good.

  7. Angie, unfortunately, no. I don’t see them often. They live in my home country. ;-|
    I am the only one among the siblings here in America. The last time I went home was in July 2006 when my father-in-law passed away. You are right. If you are far away, funerals become the reunion – kind of. On a lighter note, I will be going back home again Christmas 2008. My 2 brothers are getting married. I know that seems to be far away but for a country on the other side of the world, the airfare for 4 people can be really expensive. Not to mention we are travelling on one of the busiest holiday seasons of the year. Thanks. I am sort of used to celebrating the Holidays with just the 4 of us. It’s not too bad but not as festive as it could be.

  8. CR, This must be so difficult, You are making memories now for your children. I have 2 Aunts from Germany and they would try to go home every now and then, as you said, so expensive. I will be thinking of you at Holiday time. What fun you will have going to Your Brother’s Wedding! Good thing they are both getting married at that time. Will it be a double wedding or 2 different dates?

  9. Yes, we try. We are constantly trying to create activities that would somehow replicate our family traditions. Though we know that we aren’t quite there yet, I think we are getting closer as the kids grow up.
    Thank you!
    I can’t imagine what chaos it’s going to be when we go home. We are very close and when we are together, it’s just laughter and jokes and talking all day. It’s really fun to belong to a big family. The only thing is, my kids get shocked at all the people – they’re so used to having only the four of us.
    The weddings are going to be about 2 weeks apart of each other (Dec and Jan). We have this superstition that siblings cannot get married on the same year. We don’t believe it but we’re doing it only to be safe in case their fiance’s families do. In fact, I have 2 sisters that were married on the same year and they’re ok.
    Being far from them is difficult. When I migrated, me and my husband were only married for one year so it wasn’t as bad. We were both excited because we were literally starting a family. The thing that still gets me is seeing the kids grow up playing with friends and not having the opportunity to play and share secrets with cousins. Hopefully we can go home more often.

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