I like throwing a party as much as the next person. Actually, probably more than the next person, because I don't know too many people that love throwing a party. But the scale of my parties usually doesn't exceed 20 people. Sometimes we get a couple more than that for Fete Day, but not much more. When it comes to planning a party for an entire ward, I would rather....not.
And yet, somehow in the last five years, I have been in charge (or very nearly in charge) of four ward Christmas parties. Four out of five years. That is not such good odds. What am I supposed to learn here? If I'm supposed to learn how to delegate, I did a fantastic job this year. I know my resources and creativity are limited, so I made sure to use as many other people as possible.
The Bishop told us (me and Terrie) that we had an unlimited budget and he wanted this to be the best Christmas party ever. (No pressure, right?) So naturally we named our event the BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY EVER. And it turned out pretty darn well. Tyler made me a cool logo.
Terrie and Kara managed the food, which is the scariest part for me, so I was already feeling relieved. My job was mostly program. We put the Young Women's organization in charge of decorations and they did a fabulous job. They were ambitious and strung lights. That in itself is quite the project. I was there for most of the setup and we managed to break at least 8 bulbs. I'm thinking it might be economical to invest in plastic bulbs instead of glass.
The theme was red and white. The YW made snowflakes and peppermint candies. Oh, and a huge wreath. We didn't even know where to hang it, so it ended up on the basketball hoop. But I liked it there.
We had cloth napkins (thanks to a ward member). An hour before go time, Terrie asked if I could make a swan or something. I think she was joking, but I told her I could do a fan and I went to work. I instructed anyone who came near enough, how to fold the napkins, because 300 napkins sure takes some time. But I think it looked very pretty in the end. My Narrows Glen training has come in handy many times.
The stage area was simple. Terrie brought a lovely backdrop for Mr. & Mrs. Claus to take pictures later.
You can't tell very well from this picture, but we even had a kids table.
Half of my children sat there, which was nice since most of the time I was walking around making sure things were going okay. I think my children were happier since I was not monitoring what they were eating. And because the dessert table was literally like someone brought a candy store into the building, I'm guessing they had their fill of sweets. (Let's put it this way...Daisy had a stomach ache the next day and couldn't go to church.)
Tyler wasn't around to monitor either because they asked him to be MC. Also, he was in a couple of the musical numbers as well. We joked about calling it the Tyler Cazier show.
The program was nice. We had music going the entire night. A Dicken's style choir started the evening. They sounded great.
Throughout dinner we had people playing and singing. The only problem was that when we transitioned from mood music to actual performance, it was not very clear, so many people chatted right through the first couple of numbers. Our piano duet was amazing (despite the background chatter). Summer and Judith played O Come O Come Emmanuel using a piano guys arrangement. Fantastic.
Up next were the Cazier's. I was rude enough to tell everyone to be quiet, because I wanted the recording to catch the performance. I think it turned out super cute. You can be the judge. It was great to use ward members. You may not know them, but we had cameos from our Bishop, EQ Pres, our next upcoming missionary, and many others.
SSH 5th Ward Christmas 2015 from Vidio Lab on Vimeo.
The evening ended with a video that our resident videographer, Jason Turner, put together. He did a spectacular job using a song written by Ruth Ellis. It was a wonderful way to end the evening.
The First Christmas Story - Sunset Heights 5th Ward Nativity from Vidio Lab on Vimeo.
After the closing prayer, Bro. and Sis. Claus (as Tyler named them) were available for pictures on the stage. Had to get my cute girls up there.
It was a great party. And the best part was when it was over and I could focus on other things again. (I'm so grateful for everyone who helped. There were so many people who did something to make the evening run smoothly. I sure hope I can be one of those people next year instead of one of those who is in charge. Fingers crossed.)