Brought to you by Charmin Ultra Soft. We all go. Why not enjoy the go?
My family gathers every Sunday to celebrate birthdays, discuss family matters, and just have fun. It’s safe to say we’ve got this Sunday “Funday” thing down to a science. But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a lot of planning and organizing to do.
The preparation gets going in earnest on Saturday. As he’s done for years, my Tio pulls an impossibly small pencil stub from his shirt pocket and scribbles notes as my mom, aunts, and I recite a long shopping list. Then, early Sunday morning he visits the market and delivers it all to us before we awake Sunday.
Tables and chairs come out of storage Sunday morning, including a card table for the men who play Dominos. It’s fun to see the guys crowded around the dominos table, staring at their tiles so intently, waiting for the dominos to speak to them.
Of course, young cousins are everywhere, and these kids hit the ground running, at least until there’s a piñata to whack or mom has to just say, “stop.” They will dart from place to place, stopping only to weave through the audience around the dominos tournament to see how their respective dads are doing or to count out eenie, meenie, miney, moe for their next game.
The gathering stretches long into the evening and there is always a large selection of board games available, too. The women in our family are partial to Damas Chinas (Chinese Checkers) and card games like Canasta. And sometimes we prefer to sit and sew.
When a family reaches a certain population, there’s a birthday to celebrate almost every week, so our gatherings double as birthday parties, too. We always have candles and piñatas standing by.
Later in the evening, the guitars come out and we sing down the moon.
There are rules for making this all happen and, as one of the moms in the family, it requires strong leadership and gentle encouragement. Here are some of the simple things we’ve learned over the years:
- We plan ahead because it makes the party better and less expensive. We’ve found throwing things together at the last minute diminishes the quality overall and is more expensive because of impulsive decisions at the store.
- We do a thorough house cleaning and launder linens on Saturday. We make sure bathrooms are fully supplied with soap, towels, and a good quality bathroom tissue like Charmin because it’s strong and soft, but still provides a good value, and makes our guests feel special.
- Many hands make light work (as my friend Arianna always says), so everybody helps. Kids pull the chairs out of the back storage room and set the table before the rest of their cousins arrive.
- We plan meals around seasonal ingredients. Fresh fruits and vegetables are both better tasting and less expensive, which makes the whole celebration better both in quality and cost.
- We make sure we have plenty of drinking water. Large groups can go through a lot of water quickly and we always want plenty of water to keep the kids from having to turn to soda while playing.
- We have extra chairs available because there are always welcomed guests who tag along with various members of the family.
Does your family get together on Sundays? What special traditions do you have?