With the Christmas carols blaring and the Thanksgiving turkeys on display, I can’t help but remember all of the wonderful and sometimes ornery phrases I’ve heard every year during my Holiday Dinners. These gatherings have fondly become known as “Family Reunions.” Every year, the entire, and I mean ENTIRE, family gathers in the small town of Follett, and we watch hungrily as the four matriarchs, my grandmother and her three sisters, cook the most delicious meals. In remembering these wonderful reunions, I’ve noticed that a few phrases that my (extremely large) family says every year. Though no two country families are exactly alike, I’ve put together a list of four phrases that I’m sure every kid hears at their Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner.

I ain’t seen you since you was (insert single digit number) years old!

No matter if this random family member saw me last year and every year before, I hear this phrase directed at me countless times. Sometimes it’s my great-Aunt Sandie who I really haven’t seen since I was too young to remember. Sometimes, it’s my Uncle Nole (bless his heart) who I saw just three weeks before at the last cattle haul for the ranch. But mostly, it’s vague distant relatives whom I and my parents have absolutely no recollection of whatsoever. My response to all of the above: smile and hug, because whether I remember them or not, I still love them.

Where’s Meemaw/Mimi/Grandma/etc…?

This phrase shows the immense size of country families. When asking for the ‘great matriarchs’ as I’ve described above, I and my older (first/second/third) cousins have to discern which matriarch they are asking for. For example, ‘Mimi’ is the term I and one set of first cousins call our grandmother, while another set of first cousins and most of my second cousins call her MeeMaw and call one of my grandmother’s sisters ‘Mimi.’ (If you followed that entire sentence, you probably have a country sized family.) Sometimes our younger cousins will use these terms interchangeably which leads to a whole mess of confusion. And the only reason this confusion occurs is because everyone is asking this question…:

When’s the food gonna be done?

At any holiday dinner, Thanksgiving or Christmas, city or country, this question is a constant. However, the reason why I include it in this list is because at every dinner, until the food is ready, this is on display and cannot be eaten:

Untouchable Desserts

Untouchable Desserts

Nothing is more torturous than waiting 5+ hours for hand smoked turkey/ham/chicken, as per usual, while not being allowed to even nibble on this crusts of wonderful homemade desserts. My parents and all the aunts and uncles attempt to keep all our stomachs empty, so we may enjoy the wonderful feasts our grandmothers have prepared.

What do you want to do?

In attempt to keep our impatient stomachs off the food, I and my cousins attempt to distract ourselves with fun activities. However, Follett, Texas, the town where all meals occur, is a tiny town with approximately 100 residents. It’s not exactly a fun filled place. While some years my family will actually play the stereotypical football, most of the time all the cousins pair off with their favorites, pull on a jacket and walk around the town, constantly relaying this question to one another. It may seem boring, but our attempts to entertain often bring me closer to my growing family.


I hope that this post finds you laughing and saying “That’s my family!” If you have a favorite phrase that you hear at your Holiday dinners, comment and discuss them below!


(Featured image found here)