We celebrated Christmas and brought in the New Year in a great way, by spending a lot of time with family.

Yes, we had a lot of family gatherings, and it was awesome.

Of course, Christmas season is a special time to begin with because my dad’s birthday is on Christmas Eve and my sister Margaret’s birthday is on New Year’s Eve.

My dad would have been 103 this year. I don’t know what time of the day he was born but he used to like telling his grandchildren that he was born 10 minutes before Jesus was born. Eschia (take it easy, eh)!

We used to have a big birthday party for him every year at my place. One time my sister and her boyfriend were late bringing the turkey. We were waiting and waiting for them. Finally, my dad said they must have had a fight.

All of a sudden, my sister came in and announced, “We just got engaged.” Everybody cheered. My dad was hard of hearing and didn’t hear what she said. He said, “Oh, they must have kissed and made up.” LOL!

Yes, this year we had several gatherings, including at my sister Shannon’s on Christmas day. It was so nice to have most of our family get together. I really appreciate them as I can no longer have big gatherings since I moved out of my house. There were more than 35 of us and everyone contributed to the incredibly delicious feast.

Cousin Bob and Melody were invited, and she said a beautiful prayer and recognized all the family members who left us last year. It was a moving tribute and reminded me of how grateful we are to be here to celebrate together.

We also went to my son Roy Jr.’s place on Boxing Day to visit and exchange gifts. It was especially nice to see my granddaughter, who is attending university in Calgary. My aunt Cecilia and my cousin Patrick were also there.

Patrick now lives in Avola, B.C., and he sure made us laugh, especially with his story about when he dislocated his shoulder.

Another highlight was games nights at both Roy Jr.’s and my sister Jeannette’s place, where we played Dene bingo, charades, and Code Names. We had so much fun and of course, with the competitive people in my family, things got very loud and boisterous. And we laughed and laughed.

We had a nice brunch at the Explorer Hotel to celebrate my sister Margaret’s birthday on New Year’s Eve. She hit a milestone, and you’ll have to ask her about it, as I learned long ago that it is not wise to discuss the age of a woman — and some men too. LOL!

On New Year’s Eve, we got together at my brother Georges’ place with some family members, some of Georges and Eve’s friends, and several of Eve’s family, who had come to town for the holidays. I’m sure Eve really appreciated that as she does not have any family members in YK.

On Jan. 2, Jean and I drove to Fort Smith to meet her brother David, sisters Chichanie and Rachel and uncle Malcom, who had driven from Edmonton and Fort Chip. We had a very good visit with their eldest uncle, George Martin, who had moved to the Fort Smith senior’s facility from Tulita.

George moved to his wife Mabel’s hometown of Tulita from Edmonton and lived there for over 45 years. I’ve gotten to know Jean’s family and it was awesome to see the reunion. They also went to visit George last March, but I was not able to go on that trip.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable time spent with family. Christmastime means so much more when we are able to spend time with family, and this year we spent a lot of time with family.

We are both feeling rejuvenated and so grateful for being able to meet, visit, play and laugh with our relatives. I hope you were also able to spend time with family members over the holiday season!

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