Growing up my grandmothers house was always the gathering place for holidays. This was the time of year when we would see cousins that we hadn't seen since the summer and everyone forgot all of their responsibilities for several days. My grandmothers house didn't have TV reception and phone service was spotty at best, but no one cared. We all enjoyed being there with each other and having fun. My grandparents would sit on the porch and play music while everyone else sat around catching up on what had been happening. We would stay up late playing board games or cards - a rowdy game of Spades or Spoons was almost certain to happen (the good spoons were always off limits). As I got older, I loved being able to help my grandmother cook and hearing stories about holidays past. Then when the cooking was done, we would all revert back to being kids again.
My grandparents have been gone for several years now and unfortunately no one else in the family has filled that slot of being the family gathering place. Our grandparents were the glue that held us together and now we are so spread apart that we rarely keep in touch. As I get older, this bothers me more and more. There are times when I miss that overwhelming family craziness; trying to figure out how to sleep 20 people in 6 beds or figuring out how to navigate the maze of sleeping bags on the living room floor during your rush to the 1 and only bathroom.
The solution that hubby and I came up with is this.... since this is our first year in our own home, we are going to start making our own traditions. We have no idea what that looks like, but hopefully over time it will all come together. Who knows, over time maybe we will become the family gathering place.