January 3, 2014

Meeting my family

I wanted Rijan to get a feel for how Christmas is celebrated with my family. We sure are entertaining, I think. So around 5pm Rijan and my family piled into our car and drove to my aunt’s house for the annual Walko family Christmas party. He was in for a treat. My family is very welcoming and always enjoy when we bring someone new to the party each year.

We ate when we first got there. Rijan got a taste of some typical western PA cuisine like pierogies, buffalo chicken dip, gobs, etc. He had a chance to talk to some of my family members like my grandfather after we were done eating. Then my aunts started to pass out gifts for everyone. One of our many traditions include giving lottery tickets as part of the gift.

But now it was time for the very fast-paced present exchange game. All my family members and Rijan sat around in a circle on the floor with 3 sets of dice. The point of the game is to roll doubles and switch presents with each other, trying to get the one that you think is best. People were yelling and grabbing packages right out of each other’s hands. It is all very intense, but I had warned Rijan of this game many times before that night. He seemed like he was enjoying it and I’m glad my family did not frighten him (too much).

After the game ended and we all opened our gifts (some satisfied with their pick and some not), it was time for some ping pong. This is when Rijan surprised me with his hidden skills at this game. He went up against my one cousin who is probably the most competitive of us all. Even though Rijan lost in the tie-breakers round, he put up a good fight. It was time to leave after that. I would say the night went extremely well and I am glad he got to experience a typical Walko Christmas Eve.


Rijan and Sarah Walko at the dining room table in her aunt's house

Rijan and I at my Aunt’s house

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