I changed my Facebook cover photo as you can see above, and a number of people made comments about my Christmas tablescape, which is different every year. In the years that my husband and I were in church music, in addition to making the music, we also gave a lot of parties. In fact, the first year that we moved into our condo, we gave a record fourteen (14!) Christmas parties (whew!) There were a couple of days when we had a luncheon, followed by a dinner the same night. That meant washing and cleaning up all the dirty dishes in the afternoon, only to see the kitchen a mess all over again in the evening.
My days of so many services, rehearsals and concerts are not so much anymore, but I still find myself in the party-giving mode. You may remember that after the Bach St. John Passion performances in 2004, we started the post-concert party for the soloists at 10:30 pm and made so much noise that the security detail came to our door twice and repeatedly called us on the phone to quiet down. But after all, Carl Crosier poured 24 martinis that night and we were all higher than a kite!
As a peace offering to the neighbors on our floor, we left a gift basket at each door. We followed up that Christmas inviting our 35th floor neighbors to a Christmas open house offering fine food and drink as well as friendship. It turned out to be one of the nicest gatherings ever, and one that we have done every year since. Each subsequent year we hosted the dinner with a different international theme. One year was Italian food; another year, Russian; German, etc. In 2013 Carl’s final floor party was truly the pièce de résistance, called “The Twelve Tastes of Christmas,” with 12 different courses and 24 people in attendance. I washed the dishes afterwards for days!
As you can see by the invitation above, I have continued the tradition after Carl has gone. My menus, however, are a lot simpler!
Carl would really be surprised at me now—about two weeks ago, the president of the condo board threw up his hands in dismay about how no one wanted to chair the annual Christmas party committee, and everyone on last year’s committee had quit. I was the only one from last year’s committee who stayed. You’ll never guess who volunteered to take on the task! Oui, c’est moi!
Yes, and thankfully a few days later, another person in the building who is used to giving lots of parties stepped up to volunteer. The two of us have worked well to coordinate the food, decorations, volunteers and entertainment for the party which will take place on Monday, the day after tomorrow. I designed the invitation, of course. We are planning for about 250 people, which is about the same number of people who have attended these parties in the past.
As of yesterday, one detail had not yet been nailed down—the appearance of Santa Claus to hand out presents to the children. Traditionally Santa has appeared as if coming from the roof—he enters by coming down the stairway into the club! But by late Friday afternoon, half a dozen of our previous Santa Clauses turned us down with “previous engagement,” and I was starting to get desperate. We were even thinking of trying out a female, in this day and age of equality! I googled “Santa for hire, Honolulu” to book a professional Santa and got a quote. My heart sank when I saw how much it would cost, and would send our budget through the roof.
Out of desperation, I asked my co-chair if her husband would agree to be Santa, thinking he would certainly turn us down, but he said yes! Woo-hoo! A Christmas party miracle!
But as she told me, “Happy wife, happy life!”