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3:40 PM Tue, Jan. 22nd

Column: Finally, a normal Christmas family get-together

'Raising Prescott'

Gathering the entire family together for Christmas isn’t always easy, and when we do finally all get together, some years it can be a downright adventure.

Boy, have we had some times: From one sister living in a different state, to emergency room visits due to a child running outside too fast and smacking their mouth on the pavement, knocking out both her front teeth, to keeping a family home due to illness, to an unforeseen allergic reaction to cats that almost needed an ambulance called.

From accidently cutting a tree nearly in half, turning a 7-footer to a midget 5-footer, and apparently even shorter since a table was needed (that part was added to the story, one that changes every year, this year) to display it, to a sister-in-law going into labor, only to find out it was Braxton Hicks.

You name it, my family has been through it, but this year, Monday’s gathering for Christmas and the day’s celebration went surprisingly smooth. We had so many laughs, our bellies will hurt for days.

And now that all of children are finally old enough to entertain themselves, they have a great time, too. My brother and sister each have three girls. That’s eight total kids during the holidays. Add the grandparents and other friends, and it’s always a full house.

For the past 5 or 6 years, it’s been a hectic holiday. Since we apparently decided to all have kids at the exact same time, it was baby after baby, diaper after diaper change, cry after cry. Leave their side for a second and madness would ensue.

At least we were able to keep the family dog away from the Christmas ham this year. We weren’t so lucky as children. Charlie sure had a tummy ache for days after that one.

What’s even more surprising is my mom and her brother had the exact same thing happen to them as kids, except Chester jumped on the kitchen counter and gulped it down in one bite.

Maybe Charlie and Chester were somehow related?

We did maneuver our way through some drama this year, however.

From my daughter Emma nearly having a meltdown Christmas Eve because she wasn’t sure if Santa would drink almond milk with his cookies, to A.J. declaring Santa surely made a mistake because all the good candy was in daddy’s stocking Christmas morning, we survived.

And except for my son A.J. chasing his cousins around grandma’s house with a new lightsaber Santa brought him, Christmas mostly went off without a hitch this year.

I look forward to many more Christmas adventures with my family. Merry Christmas everyone!

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.