Wednesday, December 12, 2007

why I like ward Christmas parties

Monday night our ward in Springville gathered to celebrate the holiday with its annual Christmas party. All of the wards I have been in have this tradition, although the party is unique to the ward. This year, as Matt and I participated as "adults", we came away with a very robust feeling. I wanted to share just a few unique reasons why I liked this year's Springville celebration so much:

1. N - Z is in charge of salads. Our ward has a tradition of assigning food responsibilities to every family. The ward itself provides the main dish and usually vegetables and bread, but the rest of us bustle out with salads, jello, dessert, and other side dishes. I experimented wth a creamy lime jello that seemed to be well received (maybe because it was green...).

2. BYOP. Bring your own plates. Our ward doesn't expend money on plates, cups, or utensils, or the labor to wash them all. We all bring our own to each ward-eating function. Pretty smart.

3. Fetish with desserts.
Before even half of us had been through the dinner line, a Swiss cake--made by an authentic Swiss man in our ward--was almost all the way eaten. We were warned of our ward's special hankering for desserts BEFORE dinner is over, so we snuck some cake for ourselves. DELICIOUS! We were glad to be so nicely informed of the unknown-to-us tradition.

4. Dancing grown-ups.
For the festivities, each table was assigned a part in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Out table had 9 ladies dancing and were assigned to stand up and do some action, while singing our part, during that particular part of the song. Our table leader, Brother Stewart, is older but still encouraged all of us to get up and dance around. He himself led the troupe with some ballerina-type twirling. It was inspiring--and entirely entertaining--to see.

5. Clean-up crew.
With over 150 guests, the clean-up for such a party would seem to be overwhelming. But within a half hour, the decorations were gathered, the tables cleared, the chairs stacked up and put away, and the piano rolled back to its room. A few solitary men--with Santa hats--were mopping the floor as we took our leave with little more for us to do. (Hint: when 50 of the 150 guests stay to help clean-up, it is a lot more efficient.)

6. Being with my husband.
Perhaps best of this year was the chance to share this experience with my husband. For the first time. We socialized with other couples, moved aside for running kids, clapped in enthusiastic appreciation for the performances, and danced our part in the song with gusto. And we were 2 of the crew who stayed to clean up. I love having someone to share all this with, and I love him wanting to be so involved. (Sigh. I really love my husband.)

So, if you're thinking about dodging your ward Christmas party this year, pause to consider some of the reasons why ward Christmas parties can be one of the funnest parts of the season.


Jacob, Emily, and Jason said...

I agree...I like ward Christmas parties, too, because despite the chaos, there's always something unexpected that happens that makes the night memorable. I think it's funny that you guys have a BYOP policy, that standard Mormonism? I still haven't made it through the church handbook, yet... :)

Rebecca said...

Ours is tonight. Our ward activities chair is a professional caterer; we always look forward to seeing what she comes up with for food.

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