Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions: Party Edition

Forks arranged by type, by Curtis. For the record, we have five different patterns.

On Monday night Curtis and I threw our first party in our new place. When neither of our work places planned Christmas parties, we decided that we should throw one ourselves. And with me on Christmas break and Curtis and his co-workers on a lighter-than-usual rotation, we knew this might be the only time that most people could ever gather for socializing, games and of course, enchiladas.

Because whenever I throw parties, they inevitably involve enchiladas.

The Christmas Fiesta started out slowly, with people trickling in and commenting on the events of the day. While my stories of grocery shopping and oil changes paled in comparison to their lectures on medical, cultural sensitivity, they didn’t mind my temporary lack of vocation if it led to a hot, homemade dinner ready for consumption.

The slow tempo the party started with quickly changed with the addition of two key party guests: one boy and one girl, about two years old. While the little guy ran around our smallish condo, I quickly moved lit candles, fragile d├ęcor, and bowls of M&Ms to higher ground. Later I would discover him running in circles around my bedroom, whipping the table runner above his head, searching through Christmas paper, and putting small candies down our heating vents.

And where was the little girl in all of this? Hiding in the kitchen behind her mother, downing endless spoonfuls of refried beans while occasionally peaking around the corner to see what mischief her peer was up to.

The night wrapped up early, with everyone knowing work would come again Tuesday morning. And although most were up for another round of cards, it was time for the games to end, for people to go home. Despite the return to business as usual today, there is nothing like a night of Christmas decorations, candles, socializing and enchiladas to lighten up the darkest night of the year.

When everyone had left, we loaded the dishwasher, packaged up the leftovers, and reassembled the chaos that the toddlers had left behind. In crashing on the couch we smiled contentedly, thankful for new friends and new memories, reminding us just how much we have to be thankful for this holiday season.

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