Last Saturday, December 16, I traveled back to Canton to attend the "Stremmel Family Christmas." This is the gathering we have for the family of Sheldon and Ruby Stremmel, my grandparents, and usually there are almost 60 family members in attendance. Unfortunately, many had conflicts this year, so our gathering was a little smaller than usual. But, we had a fun time. We can no longer meet in anyone's home because our group is so large, so we meet in the union hall for mom's work, enjoy a potluck dinner, and carry out our usual traditions of stealing gifts in our gift exchange game and singing Christmas carols. Here are a few highlights:
I don't know what is so funny, but Dad's really cracking up. (Bill found it completely boring, though. That's quite a yawn!)
Jennifer, David, Aunt Billie, and Uncle Dick Stremmel wait for our next activity. Poor Uncle Dick looks like someone took a swing at him at the party, but he's recuperating from eye surgery.
Our cousin Steve goes down the line for the gift exchange game to see what everyone has. Will he steal a gift from one of the men, or will he pick a new one? Our family can be pretty vicious about these $5-7 gifts!
It's time for the Christmas carols, so Kathryn and Krysten join Uncle Dennie at the piano. Aunt Norma watches with her Polaroid from across the room so she can capture some memories.
The whole family joins in on the singing with our traditional red song sheets. We don't know what has made Mom so tickled.
Taryn and Trey wait for their cue for the big finale, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Family members draw a sheet from a pile to see what solo they have. This brother and sister decided on a duet. Uncle Dick Brown, however, takes his part alone and stuns us all with his musical timing.
If Aaron participates, he always tries to find something near the end of the song... so he was happy when he drew "Ten Lords -a- Leaping." Uncle Roger is ready to take on the all-important "Five Golden Rings" part, but for some reason, he kept looking at his sheet.