Some of my favourite memories from my childhood are from Boxing Day parties when all my family would all go to my Nan and Grandad’s for a family party. All the kids would play upstairs whilst the adults were downstairs, and I really loved it. In total there was myself and my sister, plus four first cousins and three second cousins and I used to really look forward to Boxing Day parties and several Auntie’s and Uncles. Just to give you an idea of how big the family is:
My Nan has a twin brother and a middle sister, my Great Auntie Yvonne, and two younger sisters who are twins – Great Auntie Lesley and Great Auntie Carol. My Nan has four children – My Uncle Andrew, my Mum, my Uncle Paul and Uncle Mike. Uncle Paul has three kids (Amy, Lewis and Leah) and Uncle Andrew has a son (David), giving me four first cousins and my Mum has me and my sister, so Nan and Grandad have six grandkids. Then there’s My Auntie Carol and Auntie Lesley and they’re parents to my three second cousins – Gemma, Dean and Anthony. As there’s 18 years between my Nan and her twin and her youngest twin sisters, it meant that there’s only a few years in age between my Mum and her Aunties. My Mum and Auntie Lesley had Gemma and I within 3 months of each other and Auntie Carol had Anthony a year later, which makes us all very close in age but they are actually my Mum’s first cousins and my second cousins. Confusing hey!
Sadly, over the years, this tradition of Boxing Day parties stopped. Family moved away (Uncle Andrew and his now ex-wife moved to the Isle of Man), the kids grew up and so we all stopped getting together on Boxing Day’s. I can probably count on my hands the amount of times I’ve been with my whole family in the past 15 years and it’s probably only three or four times – my 21st birthday and my Wedding being two of those occasions.
So, when it came to planning my 30th birthday and I decided I wasn’t having a party, I knew I really wanted to do something with my Nan and Grandad, Aunties and Uncles and cousins – all of whom I keep in touch with via facebook. Plus, I’d not seen everyone in so long, I figured we were well over due a catch up.
I sent an facebook message out asking if they’d all like to come for a meal and I was so pleased when they all agreed they’d love to come. My Auntie Carol and Uncle Stephen even changed their shift at work so they could be there, which really meant a lot to me.
We decided to go the The Beeches in Wigan which is somewhere I’ve never been before, but would absolutely go again as the food and service was brilliant. I ordered the chicken in a garlic butter with mash – simple but so tasty. Michael ordered a burger which was the biggest burger I think I’ve ever seen.
I had such a brilliant night and it was so wonderful to catch up with everyone. I laughed from getting there to going home and it made me feel so lucky that these people are my family. We took lots of family pictures, which I’ll really treasure as unfortunately we didn’t get any at the Wedding when we were last all together. My cousins Gemma and Anthony have their 30’s next, so I’m hoping we’ll all be able to get together again for that as I love nothing more than being surrounded by family!