One of the big reasons why so many engagements happen around the holidays, I’m convinced, is the fact that it’s the time of year when people gather together with their families. Especially when many members of the family live afar and you only come together once or twice a year. I spent Thanksgiving with my friend’s family, like I usually do because my own family resides in Houston, Texas, and rather than fly home twice in two months, I just choose to go home once for Christmas, and during dinner, her sister and now fiancé announces their engagement to the entire party of 30 relatives and friends. It’s the perfect set-up really, because you can tell all the important people in your lives at once, and there’s already a celebration in progress that immediately doubles as an engagement party! After the announcement, the audience inevitably will want to hear about the proposal, and here again, having all the friends and family present proves to be advantageous because you won’t have to repeat the same story 20 times. Proposal stories are great because it’s such a climactic event in most people’s lives, and usually requires months of planning, as well as some ingenuity if you’re one for surprises. So the groom-to-be regales the crowd with the story of how he popped the question. His idea was to propose at the same exact spot, on the steps of a public library in the city, where they had their first date, which was a cup of coffee, and a walk. But to get her there required an elaborate ruse since that library, he explained, is not a commonly frequented spot for either of them. With some tale he made up about a broken down car, and an urgent appointment, he gets her there, and he proposes. She of course says yes, he’s pleased that he pulled it off, and that’s the end of his story. But then she had something to add…Apparently, despite his efforts to keep it a surprise, she had been well aware of his intentions weeks before. To seek their blessing, the groom-to-be had spoken with the parents, who then couldn’t contain their joy and shared the news with a couple of relatives, who passed the news on to a few more relatives, and before long, everyone in the family knew. And the one who spilled the beans to the bride…none other than, Grandma! This latter part of the story brought much laughter to party, and the poor groom, who heard it for the first time that night proved to be a real sport when he declared that he only felt honored that Grandma found the news to be so good, she had to share it.