Christmas Party Survival

     Well, I survived the Christmas party weekend.  Of course, I had to let my hands recover from all of the dishwater pruning before I could attempt to write about it.  The weekend started with an epiphany of sorts.  For the last thirteen years of our ministry here in Oklahoma, I’ve baked sweetbreads for the teens to give to the widows that we carol to at our annual party.  This was an inherited and expected tradition when we arrived here, so I felt it necessary to keep it up.  I thought I was sooo smart by buying multiple bread pans and baking the boxed kinds of breads.  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize that I should organize a night before the party for the teens to help in all of this.  It was wonderful and saved so much time!  Besides, it gave them extra time to be with each other and a more vested interest in the giving out of the bread.  I’m not always the fastest car on the track.
     The survival part I referred to earlier, lies in that at the same time I scheduled these teens to help me, I was supposed to be helping decorate for the Adult Christmas party our church annually hosts.  It was a night of a lot of running back and forth.  I have loved being part of the decorating committee.  However, I think my days are numbered here.  I get so excited about putting together centerpieces and seeing the looks on people’s faces when they enter the transformed gym at various events.  Yet, I have to admit it wears me out.  Not to mention the days of school that are ruined because Mommy is supposed to be decorating and my poor kids have to entertain themselves quietly in a Sunday school room somewhere.  Anyway, just something I’m praying about.  Seems some of the other women without kids in the house all day may enjoy the chance at it for a while.
     The adult Christmas party did go well.  The teens served dinner to all of the adults, which was a nice switch up from the buffet style.  However, 2nd man recruited my help for a game just before the party started.  I was supposed to hold up an applause sign as he hosted a version of “Family Feud” with couples from the audience.  The problem came when, just before the party, we realized I had a hole in the armpit of my sweater.  Do these things happen to other people?  Let’s just say the applause sign waving turned into a one handed job that wasn’t executed very well. 
      After getting home around 11:00pm I turned around Saturday morning and started preparing for the teen party that night.  2nd man took the kids out caroling to the widows of the church while I stayed back and cooked up all of the party food.  Took me longer to do the dishes than cook the food, so I was in the kitchen most of the evening.  Sounded like the kids had fun though.  This doesn’t really bother me much.  Sometimes I’m not up for the loud boisterous games, so I slip into my Martha mode and clean.  Tickled me when one of the teens earlier in the evening asked, “So who does the dishes for the church?” to which I replied, “You’re looking at her.” 
            I was only sad that I missed the caroling when 2nd man shared with me their visit with one of our ladies who is passing with cancer.  I had called her family to make sure she would be up for the visit.  They insisted that she’d love it.  2nd man said he gave her a hug after they all sang and she and he just held each other and cried a little.  (Makes me tear up thinking about it).  What a treat to be the opening act for what she’ll hear soon. 
      I always love the Christmas parties at church and seeing all the smiling faces.  But, boy it’s so relaxing when it’s over.  Now, I can prepare for the family and focus on the REASON FOR THE SEASON.
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