Burton Family Christmas in July
By Diane Mayfield –
The weekend after the Fourth of July, my brother, sister and I with our spouses, children and grandchildren held our first Burton Family Christmas in July. It was a blast.
Usually we all gather at my house on Christmas Day. Now that some of the cousins are married, Christmas gatherings are more complicated. Then we added two grandbabies and two more on the way. Getting together on the holidays blew up as the family expanded.
This is a family that grew up playing together. We enjoyed many beach vacations as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. None of us wanted to lose connection and we all wanted to know the babies and the new spouses. So the idea of The Burton Family Christmas in July came to light.
I rented a house on Lake Travis with a pool and a boat dock for the adult siblings and spouses to stay in. That would be our home base. Dave and I currently lease a house not far from Lake Travis that would accommodate all the cousins. The two houses were only 10 minutes a part.
Dave and I went over earlier than the others were scheduled to arrive to check out the place. We discovered that our lake house with its boat dock sat on dry land. Due to the drought in Texas, the cove was dry. Oh, what a disappointment. The good news was that the marina where we dock our boat was only 5 minutes away. In fact, we drove the 6- passenger golf cart over there. The pool was great. There were even two grills under an outdoor cabana for the cooking of our steaks and vegetables on Saturday night. Four bedrooms and a large kitchen and living space easily would accommodate the sixteen of us.
Gary and Marilyn, my brother and sister-in-law, arrived a day early so we could enjoy the house all to ourselves for a time. Then we started to decorate. I stayed with the Fourth of July theme instead of Christmas. We put up 75 little flags in the flowerbeds lining the front of the house. The American flag and Texas flag flew in proper order on the pineapple finials at the front gate. Next, we decorated the six-passenger golf cart with cheesy red, white, and blue bling and made a sign for the back of it declaring the “The Burton Family Christmas machine.”
Friday afternoon, everyone began to arrive. The kitchen filled with food. The refrigerator overflowed with ingredients that promised to fill our stomachs to the max. The kitchen echoed with chatter. Coolers with drinks lined the back porch. It felt like a true Christmas holiday.
Some jumped in the pool. Others baked and created delicious offerings in the kitchen. Deck chairs were pulled together for conversation. We all delighted in just being together.
We did not exchange gifts.
Maybe for the first time, we got it right. We gave the gift of ourselves in conversation, in play and in working together to prepare meals. I think it was the best Burton Family Christmas ever.