This probably speaks to something bigger picture, which I’m sure is a higher ranked feeling (the love of family! yay!) but I’m talking about the literal act of being a person, walking into a house on a holiday, when a lot of your family is already there.
When we were younger, and she was alive*, we’d have Thanksgiving and Jewish holidays at my grandmother’s house. Typically, my mom would be there before my dad, brother and I as she was was helping with the preparations and last minute cooking/etc. that needed to be done around the house.
Now, my dad is many things, some positive, some negative… but above all, that mother fucker is prompt. In fact, he’s typically early. To him, being on time is often slightly late. So, more often than not, we would not get to experience this feeling. We’d be the ones greeting the various waves of people walking into the house (I say waves because we’d routinely have 25-30 people—40s weren’t out of the question either).
Don’t get me wrong, I loved that feeling. You’re already there, you’re already having fun, you can pretend who you did and didn’t see based on the seat you’ve had the opportunity to choose. It’s a great feeling in and of itself. But, the feeling of walking into the house once everyone else is there is like a mini-red carpet situation.
Even the family members you don’t like and don’t like you at least give some reaction to your arrival. There’s a ton of hugs, some waves, a few air kisses… Once I even signed an autograph**.
Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having to go to a holiday at your significant other’s family’s house. Unless you hate your family. Then, this is number 227.
*Would be pretty strange if we’d kept up the tradition at her house once she and my grandpa passed, now that I put in writing, no?
**I’m not kidding. But, it was someone who wanted me to sign the copy of the book my mom bought for them.