Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Tale of Two Parties

It is way past the due date for Christmas posts, but I can't help myself. My two annual Christmas parties are pretty much the sum of my yearly social whirl. Without them, my calender is a virtual desert of drear.

So tell about them, I must...

Both parties were squeezed in the last few days before Christmas, but thankfully, my guests still came even though they got somewhat of a late notice. Try the day before kind of late.  True, 3/4ths of the guest list were my own family and HAD to come, but I was still grateful.

The first party in line was the Super-great Fantabulous Present Exchange Party of 2013. It was touch-and-go whether I'd have enough gifts this year, but God worked everything out perfectly. Not quite as dramatic a story as Elijah and the ravens, but it was still a blessing.

See, this year, Noni purchased enough gifts for her family to bring to the exchange, and I was looking forward to the treat of not having to get everything myself. What a great sister!

And then she showed up at the party vainly clutching an armful of ornaments to her bosom and saying, "But I thought THIS was the ornament exchange party!" 'Tis truly a cherished memory of the season.

All those lovely gifts she'd purchased were still sitting at home.

But with the little extras I'd pulled together at the last minute and one of her ornaments ("Hmmmm, I wonder what could be in this package...") we had just enough for everyone.

The next party in my busy social whirl was the Super-great Fantabulous Ornament Exchange Party of 2013. I actually accomplished one of the Christmas goals I made last year here and hosted it as a community event. If I'd gotten the flyers out more than a day ahead, I might have had a larger attendance, but starting small can be good....Less stress makes for a happier (and less psychotic) host.

We started out with an old Christmas party game stand-by---a tree decorating relay. I didn't have any green streamers, so we called the pink and yellow colors "tinsel". We had a girls' team and a boys' team, and oddly enough, the boys' team won the decorating challenge. It was a little hard on their hapless tree, but I took one for the team. 

(Is it just me, or am I looking a little wild-eyed in this picture?)

There were a few other games, which thankfully we survived with no limbs broken or teeth knocked out. Somehow every one ended up being played with the intensity of contact sports! What happened to Peace on Earth?

Life and limb still intact, we moved onto a less hazardous portion of the evening. Every year we make ornaments at our exchange party. Some of them have become favorites through the years. Some of them haven't. But I'm pretty sure that this year's creation will be in the former category.

What did we make? Why an army of angry zombie owls, of course!

They are actually toilet paper tubes covered with printed paper---fun to make, and very cute, but they look very intimidating display all together. You wouldn't want to mess with these babies!

If you ever find yourself with nothing to do, or, worse still, are running out of excuses to keep you from working, look up toilet paper roll crafts online. Some of the things people do with them are absolutely incredible! I for one, will never look at a lowly cardboard tube the same way again.

It amazes me that something so mundane, ordinary, and useless---something we toss in the trash without a second thought----can be turned into a beautiful work of art. Kind of like what God does with us. We may not look like much right now, but in the hands of the Master Artist, we transform.

God sees us, not as the worthless cardboard tube we appear, but as the wonderful child of God He created us to be. 

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