Putting the HOLLA! back in Holiday Party

By meredith, December 19, 2011 12:11 pm

I’m 3 for 4 in attendance of holiday parties this year. Well, I guess you could call it 3 for 3 since the once I didn’t go to wasn’t directly related to the holidays. Before each of those two parties, I was trying to psych myself up. I didn’t really feel like going, but I knew I would be happy if I did. And I was. Both of the parties, in their own way, were a blast.

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The thing is, I love meeting new people and hearing their stories: especially around the holidays when stories are often told about traditions and fun things with friends and family. But to be honest, sometimes, like anyone, I just don’t feel like talking with a lot of new people. I’ve found, though, that if I let myself be me, without specific expectations of how interesting and exciting the conversations have to be, I do just fine.

At one of the parties, I ended up singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs by the fireside with a live piano player. I had a great time, and I was leading the way. People were commenting on how into it I was and how I knew all the songs. It reminded me of when I was younger and would go and sing at nursing homes or neighbor’s homes with my Dad and some people from our church. So stories came out of simply being me:  and so did comfort in the new setting.

At another holiday party, I got really into making clay ornaments. It was great to spend some time nurturing my left brain while also catching up with people. When I’m engaged in doing something, especially something crafty, it’s a lot easier to feel at ease with the conversation. It can also be fun to make something to bring to the party: be it trying a new recipe or using an old standby. That being said, if it’s too much to make an extra shopping trip or spend the time making the recipe, I’m totally fine with buying something. I’ve got an easy baked brie recipe, so I did that for one of the parties. And my fiancé made his dip for another one. But one of my standbys is bringing the frosted cookies from the grocery store. They’re festive and delicious, and there’s just no dessert that compares, homemade or not.

One of the parties celebrates solstice with a big ole’ bonfire. We spend a lot of time by the fire, laughing, throwing old dried up Christmas trees on top, and reflecting on the past year. We had the opportunity to make a wish on a bundle of herbs before tossing it on the bonfire this year. And then we all sit around and enjoy a nice meal together. It’s a great time to really think about the important people in our lives and how we want to make sure we spend that quality time with them. For me, it usually involves cooking and eating, and then spending relaxed time enjoying each other’s company without rushing around or setting time limits on our time together.

Needless to say, after each festive event, I returned home feeling great: I’d had a chance to connect with people, to eat and drink, and to share a few stories while simply enjoying the time of year. Maybe I’m spending time with people I only see once or twice a year at some of the events. But, really, to focus on the moment and enjoy this season is just wonderful with any good people, especially with the right festive atmosphere.

1,055 Responses to “Putting the HOLLA! back in Holiday Party”

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