My Extravagant Christmas Dinner

by D. Malek

A Happy Gingerbread Man The annual Malek family Christmas dinner has always been and will always be an extravaganza. From eating to dancing to laughing, we are all overjoyed at the conclusion of our evening together. Upon entering their house, my cousins, sister, and I start wrestling in the family room while their dog tries to get me off of them. My cousins, Mike and Chris, are just a few years older than me.

In the kitchen are my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, cooking a variety of chicken, pastas, beef, and deserts. They crack jokes on each other, on their cooking and on things that happen at work, in the street; they basically joke about everything! I remember just last year when we were at my cousin's house for Christmas dinner my dad was saying a joke about this man that went on a crowded bus and found everyone holding the bar on this sides of the bus. This man figured that they did not know how to take the bar down so he said to them, "You guys can't break the bar, Ugh!" The man broke the bar on the top of the bus and everyone that was holding it fell to the ground. I recall just coming down the stairs to see my aunt, mom, and dad laughing so much that tears were flowing down their faces.

When the time comes for us to start eating dinner, each person on the dining room table says grace. Then, we all dig in and eat from the different mixtures of food. From chicken to beef to pastas we have everything. After eating the great tasting foods that our families have prepared, we clear the table and play board and card games. Later that night, we move all the furniture to one side of the room and play Twister. Now that is when all the fun begins, especially when you are playing with about five people. Everyone is on top, below, and around everyone else and completely dying with laughter. During Twister, the music is booming, we have English, Arabic, and Greek music playing and the house is literally shaking. We can barely hear each other. There is yelling, things are falling off shelves and breaking, and the one word we are hearing constantly is "Opah;" yup that is how you know that we are Greek.

Every year we alternate houses, one year it would be at my cousins' house and then the following year, the Christmas party get together would be at ours. About five years ago at my grandma's house in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey; I broke a ceramic plate that she had received from her husband on their first anniversary. Thank the Lord she forgave me, she said that it is what is in the heart that matters most.

I thank the Lord for my beauteous family and for such a fantastic Christmas. Thank you Jesus!

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