Last night Aaron & I hosted many of our family & friends at a Christmas party at our house. It was a great time for the 2 of us & we hope all of our guests were able to share in the spirit of the season.
While I admit the preparation & clean-up for a party of this size is a lot of work, to me, it's worth it. I love being able to open my home to friends & family, offering good food & great company. The relaxing environment, the chance to have some laughs, make new friends & catch up with the old ones - that's the best part of throwing these big shin-digs!
I realized last night as i was mingling with the guests that I had, under the same roof, connections to my job history. I had Juli there from my Circuit City days (I've known Juli since i started CC in 1994); Sabina was there from my days at Transmarx (that ended in 2007); & then there was Mia, from my current job. It was nice to be able to mingle all the people from my life together. They each know a different side of me, though i suspect they all know the 'real' Amie.
We were able to have members of our families with us - my sisters were there; my parents arrived later in the evening. Aaron's parents & brother & sister-in-law were there as well. It's always good to get your family together for the fun times. Plus, it doesn't hurt to show them you can be sociable in these busy times =)
One of the activities for the evening was the 'ice breaker' idea i had. We were combining people from all over our lives, so they definitely needed an 'introduction' of sorts. Instead of the usual 'name tags', we offered 'What if..." questions to all the guests that they had to give their answer to & then put the sticker on their shirt. It made for some interesting conversation points... not to mention seeing people staring at a lot of chests =)
The other activity i had planned for the evening was the 'gift exchange game'. This wasn't the usual white elephant exchange though. Everyone stood in a circle with the gift they brought in their hand. Melissa (my sis-in-law) read a story i'd put together about the Christmas party, etc. The trick of the story was that there were several mentions of the words "right" & "left". Whenever you heard one of those words, you had to hand your gift in that direction. It got down to the end of the story & people were back to holding their own gifts again. The very last sentence moved the gifts to the right... so, no, they didn't end up with their own gift. There were lots of laughs as we tried to work out the direction, listened to the story & wondered if we were REALLY going to get our own gifts back in our hands.
There was one stand-out star of the party. As he walked through the house, cries of "I want to eat him up", "let me hold him"; "I'm taking him home with me" and "He's just like a little baby!" were heard. He took all the admiration in style, doing what he usually does - follow people around. By the end of the night, Orion had been adored by many women, sleep with some of the guests & worked the room better than the hosts!
The guests eventually left & the party ended... i cleaned up the party leftovers with a little help from Aaron & Antoni and went to bed not a moment too soon. I was wiped out.
As i laid in bed, waiting for sleep to overtake me, i reflected on a great night & stored away lots of memories of being with people that i cared about... i fell asleep with thoughts of the New Year's Eve party i heard we were throwing in 14 days...