My whole life I have had a gift of seeing what is going to happen long before it does, my mom called it what if thinking. It is not what if thinking, when what you thought would happen really happened. When my big brother got married I was really upset. I told my mother I did not want him to get married, because when the kids start getting married the family starts drifting apart. I was 8 at the time, but I had noticed how my parents and their brothers and sisters rarely saw each other. The only time they all got together was at funerals. I did not want that to happen to our family, but you can not stop the future from coming no matter how much you would wish it to be so.
I was right! The next year my sister got married and the following year my oldest sister got married also. The family did drift apart some, but because my oldest sister had no children of their own she and her husband would take my little brother and I to do things they would have done with their children if they had any. That only lasted till we got in our upper teens. I guess we lost our cute then. We still managed to get the whole family together on Christmas eve when my parents were still alive. Dad died several years before mom, and the first year after mom's death we did not have a gathering. No one was in the mood. The next year my niece said she wanted to have us all get together for Christmas like we did before mom died. She was like 16, so with much planning I made it happen. I bought all the food for the event, I moved furnature out of my living room, as I had moved to a smaller house. I borrowed a bank-wit table, and folding chairs to make a big enough place for half of us to eat at one time, that is the way we always did it. The guys and the little kids would eat first sitting, then we would get them out of the way and the women and the older children would eat second seating. We never did have enough room to put everyone down to eat at the same time. It did not go well and I got really hurt and angry with most of my recitatives for disrespecting me in my own home after I went way out of my way to make it possible for us all to get together. After that I refused to have the gathering at my house again. They would not have dissed my other sisters or sister in laws like they did me that day. So after that some of the other relatives had it at their houses. When my sister put on her new garage add on at her house it was made really nice and could double as a party room, so we had it there several times as well as at my brothers homes a couple times each and at my 3 nieces a few times , BUT WHEN THIS PANDEMIC HIT IT MESSED US UP LAST YEAR. We did not have a gathering last year. It was ok for my other realities they all have at least one other family member living with them, so they were not all alone. I had hoped this year we could have the gathering again, but it does not look like it is gonna happen. I spoke to my sister the other day after my nephews wife asked about it and my sister does not think it will happen because the covid is building up again. I am seeing the beginning of the end of our family Christmases coming in the not too distant future. The more years we do not have the gathering the easier it will be for some to just let it go all together in the future. I can see that they will stop having it all together in the not real distant future. They will blame it on all the work and that we are getting older, but the year before the covid started i pitched the idea of us all going together and having the meal catered, that way less work for the hoster and less clean up after. I do not know if they will go for it or if they will just dump the gathering all together or not , but I am seeing an end to the way it has been since 1969. The day it ends I will have a good cry. I hate being alone on Christmas as it is . No one comes Christmas day anymore my sister used to come on Christmas day, but not anymore . Christmas day it is just me all alone in my little house, lonely and trying to remember happier times, because that is all I have left with both my parents, my big brother, his wife , their youngest son, and my favorite cousin all gone, and the brother and sisters I still have left are far too rapped up in their own family units to even think about me.
In fairness I have spent a few holidays with my oldest nephew and his family, but even that may not look the same this year. His oldest son moved to Denver, his youngest son moved several miles away from his parents, and their daughter just moved about 15 miles from her parents, so they may not all make it home for Christmas this year.
Wish I could just go back in time to when I was younger then 10. We did not have much for Christmas, but what I did have was my whole family there. My dad was like a big kid on Christmas, If my little brother and I were not awake by 6 am he would say Janie, Roy, Santa Clause has been here and we would fly our of out beds and run down stairs to see what we got. When my dad would wake us we could hear my mom scream at dad, FRANCIS LET THEM SLEEP! Dad would just smile and follow me and my brother down stairs. I do not know how mom thought we could sleep through her yelling at dad lol. I did not realize it at the time mom probably had not been in bed long, she was probably wrapping presents all night. We did not get many presents each BUT with 5 kids it takes a while to get them all done. Yea I can see the beginning of the end of family gatherings and it is sad.