It's too bad that after years of holiday meals and gatherings, my entire extended family has grown to overlook our collective randomness. It's nothing new, so no one really notices. I imagine the people who work as ushers at Cirque du Soleil experience something similar. "Oh, that? Yeah, I guess it's pretty weird. I don't know, I've seen this like 300 times."
No one comments on the insane amounts of food anymore, or the fact that a celebration means about seven solid hours of force-feeding. No one tries to argue with my grandma as she shoves money at us, yelling for us to take it. And then once you've accepted the money with thanks, no one's eyes grow wider with confusion when she continues to yell at you to take it. I used to think to myself, "Gram, I'm holding the money, what more can I do? Should I ingest it?" Now I know that a five-minute scream for me to "take the money!" is also part of the gift.
In general, volume is never discussed. If my throat or ears don't hurt after a holiday, I wasn't with my family. And for holidays like Christmas or Easter, when a certain character arrives, I try to make my way to the bathroom before the big announcement, because the commotion makes me nervous. "SANTA IS HERE!!!!! GO GO GO" "THE BUNNY IS IN THE BACKYARD! RUUUUUN!" Followed by a scene similar to the footage of when the Beatles first came to America.
And unfortunatley, because it happens so often, Sabrina doesn't even think to take pictures of things like my Uncle Greg walking out into the dining room with a Halloween mask on, or sitting in the living room watching golf with a Halloween mask on. This year I really would have loved a picture of my little cousin Christopher pointing to the framed photo of Billy Joel on my grandma's table.
Christopher: (pointing) Who's that?
My Uncle Steve: Billy Joel.
No further explanation.