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Large Family Gatherings. Heaven or Hell?

Updated on November 6, 2012

love or loathe

August bank holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Wedding anniversaries.

Weddings ... and ... of course... funerals.!

Just a few of the times you may find yourselves one big happy family with countless relations present.

Or Not!!! Not one big happy family, that is.

My dad was one of 8 children, who all married and had quite a few children each.

When l was little, my dads´mutterings of .....¨¨Brrr... You can choose your friends, but you can´t choose your family......¨made no sense to me.

I, loved big family gatherings. For one thing they were rare, and for another they always seemed to involve presents, gifts, of all kinds. What child would not look forward to such occasions...

My dad, for all his grumbling before hand, always seemed to be the first to get everyone dancing., he´d be singing, telling jokes. Obviously enjoying himself. Even though his humour could sometimes be a little on the ´black´side.

e.g. At a family wedding, he remarked....Äh! well, raise your glasses..... next time we meet like this one of us will be missing!¨ Ha Ha Ha.¨Remember NO putting glasses down on ¨the coffin, whichever one of us is inside it¨......

All his brothers and sisters actually laughed.! What a family. Guess it´s the Irish in us.

As l grew older l still enjoyed meeting up with family members who live so far away that it was a rare treat to spend time with them. I still do.

However, there is always what some of us call a ¨great Aunt Maud¨who is so old , so scary, no-one ever wants to stay at her house overnight. Not unless ´there are at least 50 of us anyway.

I´ve been thinking up my excuses for the next event that will include Great Aunt Maud, just in case l happen to draw the short straw and be the ´chosen one´to spend the night at her eery abode.

1. Thank you, but l really don´t want to put you to any trouble. You´ve just had 2 hip replacements, and l know you are as young as you feel, aunty, but 95 is a good age for taking things easy.

2. You still have your driver, so why not stick to the routine that you love and we´ll go out to lunch or whatever you´d like to do.

3. You are barking mad! My brothers are afraid they´ll have to remove my dead body from your house after you´ve knifed me.

4. Every Time l go near even the slight vicinity of the attic, the nightmares come flooding back and they last for months.

5. The lovely room, you refer to as ¨Dims´bedroom¨resembles a church.

Is it possible to get any more images, icons, crosses or voodoo dolls into one room.

l think not.!!!!!!!O, and please don´t try.

I hope that l will always manage to be kind enough to use no1 or 2 , but one of my brothers is already preparing to use no 3.

                       A little tolerance needed, l think.

It´s perfectly normal for siblings to have some rivalry, often causing a quarrel to erupt.

It´s perfectly normal for the poor hostess to be slightly frayed at the edges. (to put it mildly)

But if only we could ALL for one day be totally self LESS. Be glad that we have a family.

There are hundreds of thousands of people on the planet  who would be so, so happy merely to have a family.

Count your blessings if you have a family, even if the re-unions are not exactly what you want.

My dear old dad, bless him, was the first to grumble when the invitation would arrive, then the first to become the ´life and soul´of the party.

l do my best to imitate him.

See What l Mean

            Anyone smiling??
Anyone smiling??


Submit a Comment

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    you are very kind. Thank you.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Another great hub from you. Thanks for share this tips. It useful for us. Good to see you again. I am glad to follow your tips. Vote Up.


  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    AAh!! A cartoon family.. Now THAT might be interesting. Thanks Jess.

  • Jess Killmenow profile image

    Jess Killmenow 

    8 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

    Great advice, Dim! Maybe I'll get my artist to draw me a family...

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    I´m laughing myself silly, reading your comment. It´s EXACTLY what l mean. You are not a scrouge. Bah! Humbug!

    Thanks for making my day.

  • RunAbstract profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    My last trip to the family reunion was such a bust! Lots of good food... a competition to see how many decendants of each child of the orginal ansestor was in attendance. Having a better conversation with a "married into" relative than any of my blood. Coolness from a certain competetive sibling, the hours of driving back home. Where by the way I felt much better!

    No music, no joking. No real family history. Just endless boredom from monotone speakers about "next year". Which I didn't bother to attend.

    I kept thinking... "Did I actually decend from a bunch like this?" Depressing!

    Wow! I sound like such a scrouge!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Always lovely to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the hub.l am very glad to be back, thank you. God bless.!

  • singlmomat52 profile image


    8 years ago

    Hi Dim!!! Sorry so late geting to your Hub, have not been on the computer for a couple of days!! I love your Hub and oooh so true, LOL!!! I think that on the whole most families are this way to some degree. I have always enjoyed being around family. After my grandmother died I stepped into her shoes to keep the family close and get them together from time to time. I did enjoy that, but it is a lot of work and refereeing, lol! Thanks for a great Hub and for bringing back great memories. So glad you're back. God bless!! xxxxxxx

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Hey Blaise.! Lovely to see you here. Micky Dee is real joker. I´ve never met him except on hubpages.

    The pic was a random one from internet and yep it did kinda look like him, but l picked it ´cos everyone looked so morose. Not exactly the family gathering we have here in England OR definately not in Tenerife,.

    It made me laugh ´cos most people in the pic looked so fed up.

    Same old story, though .My old computer has OUR real family pics and it´s still not up an running here.

    As soon as poss .I´ll put one up.Gee.! This is turning into a full length letter.

    Take care. Love Dim x

  • blaise25 profile image

    Fehl Dungo 

    8 years ago from close to you...

    Close family tie is great..This is a lovely hub, Dim. Seriously, was that Micky Dee in the pic? LOL

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    l had the same thought. Like er... how drunk or stoned must l have been to NOT remember meeting you!!!!!!

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 

    8 years ago

    Hey!!! I don't remember sitting in that chair under that flag!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Hello there!!! DoorMattnomore.....l recently decidec to give facebook a try. (l´m a bit old for all this stuff, really) Questions about near future happenings. I´m going home for 2 weeks to see my son and all my friends. Facebook question:- who will you invite?

    Answer Absolutely nobody. This is MY trip to old friends and my boy. Yikes, ! Just let anyone try to gatecrash THIS trip. I totally understand your idea of a family gathering would be ...NO FAMILY... (except your girls) Always wonderful to hear from you. Hope you are ok. love, Dim xx

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Thanks for passing by Tony. Always great to have a comment from you.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    my plan to have a great family not invite the family!! :)

    "But if only we could ALL for one day be totally self LESS. Be glad that we have a family" but this one works too. great hub DF

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 

    8 years ago from South Africa

    Thanks Dim for this entertaining Hub. My father's family was huge - I still have not met all of them! Cousins and second cousins all over the world, quite literally. And when I was young there were many gatherings so I know exactly what you mean.

    Love and peace



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