Good for the Lipinski family (CR, May 31). I’m really glad that 23 of their clan make a point of getting together once each year for a week to enjoy family fun. My wife and I agree with them. There is nothing more important than family gatherings.
Our situation is somewhat different though. Without counting any of our siblings, their spouses, or any of their kids and grandkids, my wife and I think our clan qualifies as “large” with current count at 54. This includes eight daughters, two sons, eight son-in-laws, one daughter-in-law, 18 grandsons, and 15 granddaughters. Instead of a mandatory gathering of everyone once a year for a week, we have our gatherings frequently throughout the year for an afternoon or evening with whoever can make it in attendance. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are the major events, but there are plenty of first Communions, confirmations, graduations and other miscellaneous reasons for togetherness. We sort of gave up on birthdays since we average just over one per week. Only six of our family members live out of the area, so there is never a shortage of people around for a party. When the out-of-towners are in town we have a party to celebrate their being in town.
What we really enjoy in these gatherings is watching the grandchildren relate. The priest at our wedding prayed that we would live to see our children’s children, and how blessed we are that his prayer was answered.