I recently had the honour of hosting the SheLoves Magazine Christmas Party. When my twin sister got wind of this event, she immediately started sending me pins for our “Writer’s Themed” party.
And so it began. Planning the perfect party gifts and decor for our writers. We put a good amount of time and thought into making this a wonderful night.
My sister and her friend designed these silk screened pillow cases:
Gorgeous, right? Sorry, they are not for sale.
We made a book tree and book page table runner…
I contributed a profound chalking:
We feasted, laughed, cried and shared from our holiest of places. When the evening was finished, the last guest had left, I sat on the couch with this final thought:
I forgot to offer the coffee I made at 6 pm.
I served that 6pm coffee at 11pm to my guests.
I am a hostess failure.
How could I serve coffee that was five hours old? In fairness, my company helped themselves to that crappy coffee, but I ignored that it was so old.
I do this to myself every…single…time. I take a wonderful night, hours of work and find the one thing I did wrong and deem the evening a flop.
Enter Christmas; the time of feast, after feast, after feast. Cue stretchy pant.
I do love to entertain, but I think I have lost perspective. Messed up priorities. Christmas dinner is not actually about a great Instagram photos (although I do love a good pic!) and Pinterest worthy projects. This crazy shallow view has turned me into a stressed basket-case pre-party and for the duration of the event. Forty-five minutes prior to the arrival guests arrive, I start screaming at my family, who have wisely gone into hiding, because they learned what is coming:
“Where are you guys?”
“ For crying out loud…….WHO PEED ALL OVER THE TOILET SEAT?”
“NOBODY IS TO OPEN THAT JUNK DRAWER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!!” (Cause you know, someone may discover it does, in fact, hold junk.)
I become a complete lunatic on the verge of an epic meltdown. All to avoid sitting with thoughts of failure at the end of the evening.
Ina Garten says “The most important thing you can give your guests is you.” When my guests have arrived, there is sometimes only a small piece of me left.
I have an intense fear, that people will realize I have no idea what I am doing. This is because most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. I wish an entertaining guru would drop into my life for a spell and show me the way. But then I think of my Gram.
Christmas’s at my beloved Gram’s has left me with so many wonderful memories. She decorated with paper table clothes covered in red and green poinsettia’s. There was tinsel, shiny foil garland and plastic Santa trays filled with bridge mix and nuts. Plates of baking would line every available surface; her work from the last few weeks. My Gram lived in a humble trailer, it was small and our family was big, but we all fit. She made sure we did.
My Gram didn’t create stunning centerpieces, but did she set a beautiful table in love. She cooked for days, and poured her heart in everything. She managed this all this without Pinterest. I wish I still had her; she would sort me out.
This is where I keep going wrong. If I work myself to the point that I forget the point, what’s the point? GET THE POINT?
These moments that we set aside in our busy schedules in life are about communing and gathering. Sinking our toes into the soil a little deeper, birthing traditions and observing the old. We are creating memories. It is the times of year we come together in dysfunctional glory.
We were all born a mess, but when we gather, we can become a beautiful mess. That is perfection.
I loved my SheLoves Party. There was a whole lot of love poured into and through that night. I even forgive myself for serving super crappy coffee. Now as I set the table for Christmas, all that little stuff that I am worrying about and will never get to anyways, I am letting it go.
I am letting go of the crazies, and clinging to joy.
And I am going to love what I am doing with everything in me.
And even if my meal is a complete fail, I know sometimes the biggest misfortunes can turn into the best memories (or lessons).
Last night my sister reminded me of when I tried to broil my turkey to hurry up the baking. It was raw on the bottom and burned on the top. This may have been because it was frozen when I put it in. I have come a long way….
So…do you have any Christmas advice, blunders, best memories you want to share? I would LOVE to hear them.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and feel the love.