Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crafting a Christmas Party

'Twas only a few weeks until Christmas and I still wasn't in the holiday spirit. I thought about making cookies (too fattening), going shopping (can't afford it), writing a letter to St. Nick (he doesn't have email), and wrapping gifts (don't have any yet), but nothing seemed to do the trick.

So when my daughter-in-law Sue suggested we host a Christmas crafting party at my house, I jumped at the idea like a reindeer to a roof. Since she's the talented one, I put her in charge of teaching a bunch of our friends how to make festive Christmas cards, gift tags and paper decorations.

Meanwhile, I prepared the snacks (sandwich roll-ups from Costco), desserts (chocolate balls from Costco), and drinks (apple cider from Costco, spiked with caramel sauce). Unfortunately, Costco was out of sugarplums.

I got my husband to haul out the Christmas decorations from the attic and we went through the boxes to see which ones hadn't been eaten by mice. My Santa's Village was chipped, my peppermint stick candles were lopsided, and there were holes the size of oranges in all the personalized stockings we were supposed to hang by the chimney with care.

So my husband and I dashed away to the store to replace our heirlooms and, while we were there, we bought one of those inflatable decorations to set in the yard. They were out of miniature sleighs with eight tiny reindeer, so we opted for the ginormous RV that featured a tipsy-looking Santa who pops out
of the door whenever he feels like it. As soon as we set it in the yard, last week's hurricane immediately blew it into the neighbor's yard.

Finally it was party time. Sue set up tables filled with craft supplies and cookies. I turned on the Christmas Music Channel that plays "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" every hour, and lit the fragrant candles to cover the smell of cat litter down the hall.

When the herd arrived, I sedated everyone with chocolates, cookies and cupcakes. Then Sue showed everyone how to make gift card holders out of brown paper lunch bags. Despite my misgivings, I was impressed with the end result, mainly because I can only make lunch bags out of brown paper lunch bags.

The clatter of women chatting could probably be heard clear up at the North Pole, but it was nice seeing mothers and daughters and friends and family sharing shopping horror stories (the stores are out of Fijits!), recipes for Christmas cheer (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Mojitos), plans for the holiday vacation (returning gifts), and the latest episodes of "Hollywood Housewives" ("Oh no, she did-ENT!")

The time flew by in a flash and, in a twinkling, I had three dozen Christmas cards ready to go. They turned out so cute, I decided to keep them and email electronic cards to all my friends instead.

I can't wait until next year. I'm planning to have a bunch more Christmas parties -- a cookie-exchange party, an ornament-making party, a tree-trimming party, a fruitcake-tossing party, and even a party for every one of the 12 days of Christmas!

I'd better get to work making the invitations. Maybe next week I'll have a party invitation-making party. Meanwhile, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good holiday.

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