Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Gift of the Season

For the last 18 or so years, Fred and I have thrown a holiday party. When we lived in Arizona, it was a New Year's Eve party. Arizonans were not afraid to stay out on NYE and stayed out late. It was a great party in Arizona and since we had a small house, it was all tables and chairs. When we moved to Florida, we tried a NYE party, but almost everyone we invited said no. They stayed home on NYE. "Hmmm," we thought. "This is throwing a wrench into our holiday party plans."

So for the Florida people, we changed to a Christmas party, with a white elephant gift exchange. It started out fairly small: 10-12 people and has grown to its current size of 24. Fred and I have perfected a Mexican themed menu with one or two new recipes a year. We follow a pretty strict regimen or 30-45 minutes of appetizers, then a soup course, then sit down dinner, then more chatting and mingling then dessert or white elephant gift exchange or vice versa and coffee. It usually takes me about two weeks to prepare for the party as the house needs to be completely decked out in Christmas decorations. The tree needs to be up. The tables need to be set up (two tables of twelve: I head one, Fred heads the other, no couples sit together). I've been collecting Christmas china, flatware, and crystal for about 20 years. I have a complete set for 24. I am totally nuts. I acknowledge that. 8-)

Above is my table.
But what I have also acknowledged in this massive labor of love of cooking, decorating and hosting is that we invite the friends we love. We invite the friends we socialize with, with whom we want to spend time. We invite the people who are important in our lives and while they may not mix on any other occasion; once a year for the past 12 or so years they have gotten together at our house and they have become friends for our sakes.

This is Fred's table.

So I thank them all for their gift of friendship, for making it possible to have such a party. For if we didn't have such wonderful friends, it would be me and Fred and Bingo and Willow watching TV and wondering what happened.

So thank you all. And for those of you who came late to the party after the 24th seat was filled. I am working, working, working on Fred to get an addition built so I can invite you to the party too! Fred has a plan. See, Fred assures me he can do it! 8-)

The White Elephant Gift Exchange

1 comment:

spiritualmaya said...

and it the best party of the season! We love every minute of it! Thanks for having us!