When one manages to cram my grandparents, six uncles, seven aunts, twenty-three grandchildren and the excitement of Christmas into one house, little room remains for sanity and order. To truly convey the magnitude of the disorder, allow me to go through the events of last year. Without a doubt, the same chaos will ensue tomorrow.
10AM: I awake to the sound of my uncles' voices boasting about their high school mile times; each refuses to admit the impossibility of these times ever occurring in today's race.
11AM: We find our way to my uncles' alma mater, Chaminade High School, and my Uncle Mark yells "Go!" to start the race. My little cousins take off down the track, as my uncles bring up the rear, huffing and puffing the whole time and still trash-talking each other between breaths.
12:30PM: After my little brother beats every one of my uncles by a full five minutes, they hope to regain their honor by challenging the younger generation to a tackle football game; the game ends only when everyone finds themselves covered from head to toe in slushy mud and both sides call it a tie.
2:30PM: Following the game, the entire Moran crew, mud and all, heads to the nearest diner for lunch. Not your typical table of six, we manage to take up the entire diner by pushing tables together, getting three waiters to take our orders and testing the full efficiency of the Greek kitchen staff in feeding a hungry, wet, boisterous mob.
5PM: After a full day of activity, everyone changes into their Christmas Eve clothes and heads to my grandparents' house for the annual unveiling of the gingerbread house; little cousins fight over various figurines and candy the remainder of the evening.
Needless to say, during the holidays, my family sometimes reaches a decibel level that some may call insane. However, traditions render insane behaviors sane; I know of no other way to celebrate the holidays and, frankly, cannot think of a better way.