Holiday Dress for Less Week - Home for the Holidays
Christmas Eve is not Christmas Eve without going home to my 13+ Aunties and Uncles together with their own families resulting in 30+ cousins. Yes, we are the house on the block that takes over the entire street for parking. But we're also the house that is open to all, welcoming neighbors and friends turned family to freshly fried lumpia or to a homemade and most likely illegal fireworks show every NYE. Just beware of my Aunt's and Uncle's savage tendencies, for they talk smack in your face then politely ask why you're mad.
"Waawwww you sleep in the kitchen now, haa."
"Oh my God. You're so big now." (Hands signaling horizontally.)
"Anak [my child], it's time to re-joose [reduce]." (Reduce, meaning go on a diet.)
And if a chubby little cousin trips and falls, they'd shout, "Oh! Is the ground ok!?"
Bilbo Baggins said it best about big family problems:
I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
I know, my Aunts and Uncles are next level body-shamers but believe me, they talk smack in my face but also speak proudly of me behind my back. It's called balance. Thank God they did not do damage permanently but this explains why I opted for this oversized sweater that I scored for $20 in-store at H&M during this year's Black Friday. Loose and cozy is the key for holidays at home so the OG savages won't be tempted to pinch my cute back rolls. Chic and roomie is also a requirement for extra lumpia, salt-n-pepper chicken wangz, and my cousin Adrienne's chocolate chip walnut cookies. Again, balance.
No need to worry about my emotional and mental health. My Aunties and Uncles have gotten older and they've gotten more kind. But because they're older, that means all the "kids" are now adults and some with beautiful babies of their own, resulting in more meaningful memories shared with my cousins. Someone said that our cousins are our first best friends and it is incredibly true with me. With our own careers but still too many individual gifts to give during the holidays, my cousins and I look forward to an epic annual White Elephant gift exchange. Last year's best gift was a picture of my brother knocked out on a sofa complete with an open mouth that was transformed into a canvas painting. You can hear him snoring in that painting. My cousins are quality gift givers.
However your family dynamic looks like, whether it's crazy/calm/awkward, big/small, or it's you and your furry loved one(s)- cheers to being home for the holidays. We'll survive it as always and somehow manage to always find joy behind all of our family's idiosyncrasies.