Every other years Christmas is traditionally held at one of the homes of my Mother or her siblings. There are Five of them (they call themselves The Big Five – because they are Big and Wild and of course, because there are 5 (Five) of them). This rota makes up a good system over a decade and leaves very little space for maneuvering as it is Set In Stone since their Mother (My Ouma) passed away when she got up for a cup of tea one morning while she was on holiday in our house – but that’s a story for another blog.
This year The Tribe will be gathering at my parents home in The Karoo – a semi desert area (really semi desert not a REAL desert where it’s entirely desolate but close enough) – it is going to be Hot! Temperatures of above 35 degrees Centigrade are the norm and we can expect higher. We are of European descent – not the lovely Mediterranean European but the pasty pink white kind, the kind that doesn’t flourish in the sweltering section. French, German and Irish to be exact – not that it matters since those ancestors are so far back in the archives all we really have of them are the remnants of their pigmentation – well some of us do, it seems there might have been some infidelity among the natives when the Huguenots landed on these Southern Shores since I have some Uncles, a Sister and a Daughter that have what can only politely be called ‘Strong’ skin. They’re going to handle it fine and I’m happy for them. But, I digress.
As one of the Hostesses apparently legitimate offspring it has been thrust upon me to make 30 (thirty) Christmas Hats for the revelers, varying in age and head size between the living years of 67 (most senior Grandad) and less than 12 months (no offense to the cousin involved but I can’t keep track of the prolific propagation of this Tribe).
Don’t get me wrong, this task might not have been forced into my lap – I more than likely volunteered but I was plied with wine by my Sister who knows my weakness for a good Sauvignon Blanc and this same Sister has a way of sweeping one up into being highly motivated to Party (yes with a capital) – an admirable quality when one owns and runs a restaurant but not so much when one is being delegated to – I believe this is what makes her such an excellent addition to the Entertainment Industry, her ability to Delegate (she does that with a capital D too).
And so here I sit, sparkly pipe cleaners, Christmas baubles, tinsel and cardboard in Red and White (it’s the Theme – please note the capital) all still in the brown paper bag that I bought them in a week ago. Am I cutting and gluing and humming Michael Buble under my breath while I nibble on mince pies? – no. I’m thinking up ideas to perhaps have a ‘Crafting Table’ where those who would like a Yuletide head piece could make their own? Could I sell to them that it’s too hot to wear hats, over 80% of ones own body heat needs to escape through the top of ones head – surely in this desert climate one shouldn’t be wearing a hat? And while you’re eating, isn’t it rude to wear a hat at the table? If I didn’t come up with something soon, I thought, I’d better get cracking on the crafting. And then I read this post : by The Good Greatsby – http://wp.me/p1ngBd-1bB (I hope I’ve done that right, if it doesn’t ‘click’ to him then please do yourself the favour and go and have look with your normal search engine technique – I will get lessons in Internet one day – at the moment I’m bumblingingly self taught by Google and good Samaritan IT people).
So those of you that are reading this blog that are going to be at the Gathering, (what else could explain my audience of 37?) – I can get one of my kids to draw something that’ll outshine any hat that I can muster over which we all will ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ for the 3 days of Festivities. Since most of the Elders have given up smoking and drinking for a while now, in the interest of being able to host the most Tribal Christmas parties – that’s not going to generate much interest. So, I’m going to need one of you grown ups to do something monumentous – perhaps announce that you’ll be sponsoring us each an overseas trip/paying for the grandkids education. And then, a big favour, if it’s at all possible – could one of my Siblings – you know who you are, at least, at the very least, pretend to be knocked up or in the Brothers case to have the decency to let my Sister In Law walk around with her belly out.
That would save me a whole lot of crafting trouble – thanks, in advance.