Our household is slowly recovering from last night's party, which was fun and noisy. Most of our friends have large families, and our holiday parties used to be filled with little kids, who would go upstairs to play with train tracks in the boys' bedroom, but those children have turned into teenagers, with adult-sized bodies. We had so many people crammed into this house that it was almost impossible to move. At first I tried to weave my way through the crowd, darting over to refill the punch bowl for the tenth time, or setting more food out onto the table, but eventually the crowd was too big even for all those skills I honed at college frat parties. I began delegating tasks to anyone nearby. "Here pass this on until it gets to the table." When a latecoming guest handed me a carefully wrapped bag of homemade cookies, I sent it flying over the heads of guests and into the kitchen area, where Red-haired Niece caught it neatly, opening the bag to put the cookies on a plate. Not a single cookie was broken. See, Boy in Black gets those Ultimate Frisbee skills from his mother.
Our house was filled to bursting, with some guests even standing in the laundry room with bowls of chili or cups of punch. My Red-haired Niece, a grad student who is known for throwing big parties herself, said to me, "If you were a college student, the cops would be at your door shutting down this party by now."
Today, we are eating leftovers, cleaning the kitchen, and taking naps. With-a-Why and Suburban Nephew are playing together, happy to be reunited. Dandelion Niece has gone to Pretty Colour Lakes with Neighbor Girl and her mother. My Beautiful Wonderful Smart Daughter is still working on some kind of secret project, a gift she is making for her brothers. The boy band is jamming. My husband is heading out to the grocery store, to get some real food now that some of the party food has been eaten and we have room in the refrigerator again. Blonde Niece has gone home to wrap presents. Tonight the family will gather at my mother's house.
It's wonderful to have three days of eating, talking, and being with people we love.