In yesterday's holiday post we revisited the family's 2003 Christmas Eve party. The Christmas Eve party is the second family gathering during the holidays. The first is always the Mattson/Williamson party held a few days before.
The following photos come from the 2003 Mattson/Williamson Family Christmas Party held at a reception center in downtown Provo.
I'm embarrassed to confess my ignorance with names. Remembering my first cousins - no problem. Remembering the names of their children - the gears in my memory's clockworks produce a syllable or two before freezing up.
My thanks to cousin Angie for filling in the gaps.
This is Joe Mattson proudly displaying his daughter hope.
This is Jacob Mattson and his daughter Audrey.
Finally two faces I recognize. Gina Mattson Walker is on the left with sister Angie Mattson Berntsen. We may our flaws, but you've got to admit this family produces mighty fine teeth.
Joe's daughter Faith being all shy.
Valerie Mattson (Kirk's wife) enjoys her dinner with sister in law Camille Mattson.
Luella glares at her rambunctious grandchildren and great grandchildren along with her great grand nephews and nieces. "Where did all these kids come from?" she scowls. "Someone's gonna get hurt. They need to stop running." Two bites later and her ever watchful eyes and radar ears catch more roughhousing and a scream. "Who's crying. I told you someone was gonna get hurt. People gotta get their kids under control. There's people trying to enjoy a meal here."
Kirk Mattson and Kent Berntsen (Angie's husband) pretend not to know to avoid a lecture on the proper way to bring up respectful children.
Jilane Bodily sits with neice Ashley DelGrosso and father Grandpa Charles Williamson. Seeing Grandpa Charlie at a family party is almost as rare as finding a Williamson with a well thought out and documented opinion.
"Is Wal-Mart closed?" Someone asked near the sloppy joe refilling station. "Uncle Charles is here!"
"I heard someone say he's got something terminal. Come to say his goodbyes," another said in a hushed voice.
The truth be told, Grandpa Charles purposely misses, or shows up late, to many of these family holiday get togethers to preserve his sanity. The shock of transitioning from the relative quiet and order of a Walmart store at Christmas to the semi-contained mass hysteria of a Mattson / Williamson family party is too much for someone of his advanced years and reclusivity to absorb.
Brayden Bodily is seen in the background sitting on one of the younglings and hoping nobody notices.
Forest DelGrosso gives his mother Kim a bear hug.
Brock Bodily, Avery DelGrosso, Amara Belnap, and Brayden Bodily sit in a Grandma Luella ordered time out for roughhousing.
Joshua Mattson (Jake and Emily's son). My memory of the evening is peppered with the shrill sound of Joshua's screams. You did not want to cross this young man. His scream did the job of another kid's fists. One blast and you were across the room with ruptured eardrums :)
Emily, Joshua, and Jake Mattson.
Gina, Quin, and Quade Walker. Quade is seen adoring his mom, or his dad, or perhaps he's noticed a young cousin nearby ripe for a thrashing.
Taylar Berntsen (Angie and Kent) and Porter Mattson (Kirk and Val). On a side note, Porter is currently serving an LDS mission to Guatemala. They've all grown up.
A second attempt was needed to try to get Porter under control. We nearly succeeded.
Cooper Mattson (Kirk and Val) wondering why batteries weren't included.
Joan (Aunt Bev's sister), Robin (Bruce's wife), and Bruce Bean (Joan's son).
Tiernan Belnap with her mom Annette and Hope Mattson. Again, you gotta love those teeth.
Luella and John, brother and sister, photographed contemplating their creations.
Forest flashing the DelGrosso gang sign. Those Michigan DelGrossos are not a family you wanna mess with - if you know what I mean. Kevin Bodily is on Forest's right.
Annette with husband Thane Belnap. Someone looks like he needs some time with Grandpa Charlie at Wal-Mart :)
AND ANOTHER SIGHTING OF THE ILLUSIVE GRANDPA CHARLIE in the dark background. Further proof he was there.
Brock has found a new purpose for living.
Brock and Brayden Bodily along with Averie and Abrea DelGrosso. Amara Belnap is squeezed between.
Kenya (Angie's), Faith (Joe's), Addie (Kirk's), Kenedee (Jilane's) and Brooklyn (Jilane's).
Afton and Amara. Amara tolerates her cousins - but only just.
Kenya, Addie, and Faith, with new friend - cousin Tiernan (Annette's)
Young Brooklyn Bodily with cousins Averie and Amara. Brooklyn looks like she's in need of a good meal.
Tiernan, Annette holding Amara, Ashley holding Hope, Avery and Afton holding Audrey.
Jake Mattson holding daughter Audrey with Jilane and Brayden.
Grandma Luella with brother John and husband Charles. Luella is laser focused on the grandchildren while John and Charlie talk.
"I hear there are more roll-backs at Wal-Mart," John asked.
"You bet," Charles answered."You're not going to believe this, but I did a roll-back on the price of snow shovels before coming over. The company is desperate. They'll be out of business in a year or two."
"You don't say," John replied.
And finally, the breaking of the pinata. There were only a few bruised ribs and three concussions from wild swings. Grandma Luella had to go on oxygen. It was all too much.