High Drama at the Christmas Family Gathering

christmas 1961There’s certainly a story in this photo from the early 1960s.  My cousins and I are all at my grandparents in Gnadenthal, Manitoba no doubt getting ready to sing O du fröhliche or some other German carol like Ihr Kinderlein kommet for my grandparents before receiving our gifts. My cousin Charlotte on the far right is being difficult. She has a mind of her own and her mother, my Aunt Mary, is having a hard time cajoling her into joining the cousin chorus.  

Each cousin has a different reaction. I’m on the far left in the back row.  I’ve pasted a cardboard grin on my face to show the drama doesn’t affect me.  My cousin Bernie on the other end of the back row, in his dapper pin striped suit coat that matches the one his twin brother Al is wearing, appears to be the only cousin who finds the situation humorous. (Note the lovely velvety blue jumpers my mother has sewed my sister Kaaren and me for Christmas with just enough material left over for my little brother’s vest.)

My cousin Connie next to me is obviously aghast at her younger cousin’s behavior as exhibited by the hand to her cheek in an “Oh no!’ type of gesture. My little brother Ken is turned sideways just staring, totally absorbed in the drama unfolding before his eyes while my sister Kaaren and my cousin Al look straight ahead neither smiling or showing emotion.  They must be thinking, “This is a serious situation but it is best ignored.” Note that my cousin Robert in his bright red vest has a worried look on is face, and is clutching his tütje in his hand.  Will his cousin’s antics perhaps result in the loss of the tütjes which are a reward for a good Christmas performance for our grandparents? 

This was so long ago and now most of my cousins and siblings are already enjoying their retirement years. Today no doubt many of us in the photo will be attending gatherings and parties with our own families and new little dramas will unfold and play out.  Some will be forgotten and some, like this one, will be captured on film and become memories of family Christmases past. 

Merry Christmas to all my cousins.  We made some great memories together!

Other posts about Christmases past………

The Nuns’ Christmas

My Mother’s Childhood Christmas

Christmas Stocking Crisis

Tutjes- An Important Christmas Tradition

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