Today was the annual family Christmas tea where all of my mum’s side of the family gets together. That’s me, my mum and sister (my dad tends to hide as social gatherings are not his cup of tea at all). Brother and wife one (their son is in his early twenties now and didn’t come). Brother and wife two and their two kids (teenagers, the oldest, again doesn’t attend) and Brother three with his kids (a teen and a tween). So it’s a fairly sizeable gathering when there’s normally a maximum of five of us although not crazy. However, we don’t get together very often and I get a fair level of social anxiety which always make me worry when we get together.

Will I be able to interact with my younger cousins?
Will they think I’m uncool? (I probably am).
Will there be awkward questions about the fact I’m in a relationship and have recently bought a house?
Will there be shouting?
Will anyone get too drunk or argue?
Will my dad be okay?

I don’t know why I worry so much before things but I do. In fact, I got myself so worked up that I don’t think I went last year. However, we were hosting this year and I decided I really should get over myself. And do you know what… it was fine.

At first the cousins sat lined up on their phones, most amusing but we got them to stop. The food was well received, much to my delight the Key Lime Pie I contributed was wolfed down, there were games played and although I did go and keep my dad company for a while it all seemed to be a very nice time.

I think these things are probably easier the more frequently you see people, because then you don’t have to do a full life update and you don’t feel as interrogated but we don’t all live that near each other and I don’t know how to go about such a thing or if anyone else would be bothered.

The important thing is that it has shown me that I don’t need tonne so worried, that it’s okay, that of course I can get on with my own family and that it is a nice part of Christmas to catch up with people.

Charlotte x