I was telling someone recently that in the “old days,” my husband and I could count on one hand the number of nights we were home during the month of December. In fact, sometimes two whole weeks went by when we were out every single night, with either a concert, a rehearsal, a service or a meeting. Carl used to say that he felt sorry for our son who didn’t get much attention from us during this season.
And how many times did we open our Christmas presents well after December 25th? Sometimes it was not until almost New Year’s that we finally got around to it.
And our Christmas cards and newsletter—I always told people that as long as I postmarked them by December 24th, that was a miracle. I have yet to do my annual Crosier Chronicle this year, and you’ll soon find out why.
With all the heavy scheduling involved in music-making, I didn’t even mention all the parties we gave—the first year we moved into the condo, we hosted no less than fourteen individual Christmas parties—some at lunch, and some at dinner. Yes, this meant cooking and cleaning for each one—sometimes I had to wash the tablecloths right after a luncheon for a dinner party that night.
So you may be surprised that this year I am involved in only two parties, one for the residents of my floor on Sunday, but the one tonight is a whopper! It is the annual Christmas party for my building which I have been involved with the last three years. The first year there was a real committee of 5-6 people, but I have to say, it was one of the most contentious committees on which I have ever served, with people arguing about the menu and other trivial matters.
Last year, every single one of those committee members quit, and the Association Board, of which I am a member, even questioned whether we should have a party. I bravely stepped up, and said I would do it, and soon after, a woman in the building volunteered to help. I have to say that it was one of the smoothest parties the building ever had, except for the fact that we planned on 250 people coming (the number as in previous years), and 300 showed up! We didn’t know how many people were coming, which caused a bottleneck in the lobby. It was not only at the registration table where we had people print out their name tags but also with the food line.We ran out of paper plates and tableware, and luckily the General Manager raided the employee lounge where we found enough paper goods to serve everyone. And our wonderful in-house chef Heidi, stretched out the food to feed the extra mouths—talk about the loaves and fishes!
This year, the other woman who helped me is in the process of moving out of the building, so I’m doing all this single-handedly (sigh!). It means that I have designed all the publicity materials, done the shopping for the raffle prizes and the children’s gifts, fielded all the RSVPs and coordinated the volunteers. In all these years, we’ve never made people RSVP, and I designed a simple online form to which people could respond from any computer or phone. With that information, I’ve made pre-printed name tags, volunteer lists, and envelope labels for the registration packets containing the name tags, raffle tickets and children’s tickets to visit Santa. Hey, I had some volunteer help, but I’ve even wrapped up about half of the 350 tableware packets containing napkins, forks and knives.
Of course, I posted a deadline, and wouldn’t you know that 30 people sent in their responses after I had made all the tags and registration envelopes! We have had 316 people respond so far, and tonight, we are prepared for walk-ons.
This is pure insanity!
I’m off to Costco now to pick up the pies, cakes and water!