Christmas is coming! (Yes, it’s only September, but keep reading.)
My dad is one of ten kids. I counted once, and I have over 60 first cousins.
That’s a lot of people.
While Grandma was alive, we celebrated Christmas at her house, with Grandpa and all the family.
ALL. The family.
She had a small house (probably less than 1000 square feet), but somehow we all fit. I remember sitting under the table to eat because that was the only space left, dodging between a forest of legs, playing board games on a tiny end table in the corner of the sitting room, four of us cousins crowded around and hunched over, cramped for space.
Grandma must have been the most patient woman to ever have lived. What a chaotic, beautiful mess it must have been for her.
At River Ridge, we made Family one of our four core values, because of memories like this one. Because a house packed full of laughter and games, popping at the seams and spilling out into the yard, is what makes life, life.
Fellowship. Beautiful memories. Celebration.
Even suffering and loss are easier to bear when you’re surrounded by warm bodies that love, accept, and support.
After Grandma passed, Grandpa didn’t have it in him to host 75+ people in his small home. He wasn’t quite as patient (anyone that knew him in real life would guffaw at the truth of that statement), and it really was a large mess.
Instead of celebrating Christmas at his house, at Grandma’s house, we moved to the Selah Civic Center and celebrated our Christmases there.
It was not even close to the same thing.
The building was actually big enough to hold all of us, but it was TOO big. There was no crush of warm bodies, no crowded laughter, no forced interaction between family members to push them to set aside their grievances. It was easy to avoid one another, and it was cold. Both figuratively and literally, the florescent blue lights cast a chilly hue on the hard floors, bare walls, and cool air.
It was Christmas by date and a family gathering by definition, but it was. not. Christmas.
Not the way Grandma would have done it.
Christmas in particular is a special time for us at River Ridge, as it was for my family growing up. I used to wonder at my Grandma’s insanity, for her to invite that explosive mess into her home.
Now I understand what she did, and why she did it.
The mess means you’re blessed.
Without people, without the crazy throng of activity, you would have less mess, but you’d also have different memories. Without her incredible hospitality and her too-small, chicken decorated, usually messy house, I would remember every Christmas as cold and detached, not warm and busy and happy and …full.
It was with Grandma’s house at Christmas (and the tradition Grandpa inherited after she passed) in mind, that we created The Annex at River Ridge. A private meeting space big enough for 70-ish people, the building keeps the warm, homey, inviting feel of a private home, but provides the convenience of a meeting hall.
When you book a Christmas party in The Annex, you will feel at home AND you won’t have to clean up the mess.
Grandma would have loved it. 🙂
To take a tour or reserve a spot, give us a call at the restaurant, or call me personally on my cell phone. We’re happy to walk you through.
Regardless of where you spend your holidays, we wish you the best. May the memories you create be full, warm, and spotted with laughter.
River Ridge Clubhouse – 509.697.8323
Events Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Cell – 509.949.1419