Family Parties…The Same Wherever You Are

We went to an 80th. birthday party on Saturday for our friend’s father. His mother also turned 79 this week, so it was actually a little celebration for both. It was mainly a family affair, but there were a few of us that were not related there. I have been to quite a few parties with James’ family and I am always amazed by how similar Italian and Hawaiian families are. It may be cliche to say, but the following things are almost always done at family gatherings.

  • You go around and kiss everyone hello the moment you get there. It doesn’t matter if you have never met them before, everyone is family if you are at the party. And at some point during the party, you are going to asked about yourself.
  • If it is a casual party, everyone brings something. The food may be different by nationality, but the concept is the same. Everyone brings a dish. I personally think potluck parties are great. You know your favorite aunt is always going to bring that one dish you love, but never get to have.
  • If there is a grill in use, you can bet there are a few men around it talking about the best way to grill food. In Hawaii, it might be the imu pit or a meat smoker, but the conversation is always the same…what is the best way to use it and they all have an opinion.
  • There are always kids running around playing in the yard and the older ones are put in charge of keeping the younger ones occupied. And if they complain, they will be reminded by slightly older family members that they had to do it for them, so now it’s payback time.
  • In the corner you will find a few cousins or siblings drinking and talking about everybody else. The conversation will go from whispers to loud laughter at any moment. My sister and I have been known to text each other across the table in these situations when we want to talk about the people we are sitting there with.
  • Older family members are going to talk about the good old days and if I were you, I would pay attention. These are great memories to have. I have a lot of good stories from my grandparents and my aunts and uncles, but I wish I had more.
  • A fight could break out at any moment. Not necessarily an actual fist fight, although I have seen it happen, but at some point, voices will raise and put a damper on the party. When that has happened in my family and I am not the one fighting, I will just get myself another drink and find a good seat.
  • People will start singing. In Hawaii, usually guitars and ukuleles come out and there is a backyard concert with everyone singing if they know the words. In my family, at the beach house, you will hear a bunch of drunken people on our deck singing, “On the way to Cape May” and other songs slightly out of tune and no music. Both versions are fun and the right way to do things.
  • Food is divided up in containers for everyone to take home. If you want a certain dish, then you better go help out with this task or you may miss out. Trust me, I have missed out a few times.
  • You go around and kiss everyone again when you leave. This could take some time, so start early if you want to be gone by a certain time to beat traffic. And make sure you get to everyone. You would never hear the end of it in my family if you left without saying goodbye.

Those are 10 similarities I have come across between Hawaiian and Italian family parties. I mention only these two, because that is what I am familiar with, but I am sure most nationalities have their own version of family parties that we can all relate to. So, take another look at my list and let me know in the comments if I left out any components to a family party that we all might know. I would love to hear about them, because it doesn’t matter how they are done…I just love a good family party.

***Question for the comments…How does your family do parties? Do you see anything on the list that is the same or different from your family?

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Hi, I'm Tracie. I am a writer, reader, life coach, lover of the city and the beach. I am a big fan of all things caffeinated. I dig things from many different decades, but am a definite child of the 80's. My blog is about everything and anything my mind conjures up. Enjoy the ride.

16 thoughts on “Family Parties…The Same Wherever You Are

  1. 🀣🀣🀣🀣 You. NAILED. It! I NEVER heard the end of, “Now I don’t want you and Tracie sitting and whispering in a corner.” But…but…that was the FUN part!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Little did they know…well, Daddy knew. He just didn’t want to admit his baby was like that. 😁 But then again, I was ALWAYS in trouble.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG… On the Way to Cape May…LOL. Been there a time or two.
    As far as you two texting each other from across the table… I reserve my comment 🀬 lol

    Liked by 1 person

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