Each year, for as long as I can remember, my mom had an annual “open house” Christmas Party. Meaning anytime between the chosen block of 4 hours, people could drop in, make a plate, have a few conversations with familiar faces, and then be on their way. No games. No requirement to stay the full time. No tacky sweater requirement, although that used to be my mom’s specialty outfit (sorry mom). And No obligation to come. Well, except that if you continually show no interest to come year-after-year, you will most likely not be included in following years invites…just sayin’
Over the years the party has changed for me. When I was a kid, I have no idea how my mother managed getting all the food ready and dealing with my brother and I, except that she’s a saint & made motherhood look like a walk in the park. You see, I have vivid images of us hounding her about “how long till’ the party starts”, “when are people going to get here”, “can I eat yet”, “are my friends coming” and so-on and so-forth. [And this is why the Busby’s annual Christmas party lasted two years].
Then it evolved to my teen years where I played it cool. Sometimes, on a rare occasion, okay I think only once, I had a boyfriend who would come (and it ended up being the night I dumped him…I should blog about that!) Then I was involved in our church youth group, so sitting around cutting up about any of the dumb stuff we did became pretty popular material for our youth leader to use to make jokes to pass the evening.
Then it was young adult, “no I’m not married, yes I’m still single, no I don’t have a date for this party, and yes my job does satisfy my lifestyle right now” years… But thankfully I had “the girls” (you know who you are) by my side, otherwise I might have ended up admitting myself to a hospital for depression from the social network of parties and the questions that come in order to “catch up.” (This was also before the days of social media popularity-thank you Lord-or there would be no need for the game of 21 questions as everyone would already know my life circumstances, and would have expressed their opinion by the choice of “liking” my post or by making a comment, I’m sure)
Now I’m married with THREE kids (don’t worry, some days I don’t believe it) and so instead of frequent socializing, it’s more of corralling the kids to stay in the play room, “reminding” them in a stern but friendly tone to say “excuse me,” and keeping the youngest away from the crowd, because so far, he’s not a fan of humans (I’ll explain this shortly, but it’s a new phrase from my 4 year old). BUT, I do want to note, that my husband is fantastic in this arena, as he lets me socialize while he tends to the kids. I know ladies, I’m blessed! But listen, I was careful in the “husband selection” process, as I knew I already acted like “the man” in most cases, so the kids were definitely going to need someone
Anyway…the party always leaves me with a sweet sense of the holiday season from being close to friends and family, sharing stories of days gone by and days to come, with our bellies full of punch and goodies, and at the end, a house full of…
LAUGHTER. From sarcasm from the guys, crazy nonsense from “the girls” and whatever my children have done or said.
You thought I was going to get all sappy there, didn’t ya. And it does bring a good sense of the holiday, but with our crew, sometimes it’s just cray cray! And tonight didn’t disappoint.
From my oldest starting to call adults “humans” which he was then asking my mom, “are these all the humans that are coming?” I tried to explain. Now he’s just doing it out of spite for the correct terminology (or it could be the fact that we keep laughing at him each time he does it).
To the baby throwing fits when people simply wanted to say “hi” and he wasn’t digging them being in his space, so all out screams would begin…
Or the disappointment that settled in when the oldest two came expecting one of my mom’s famous family dinners, only to realize the “party food” was “the dinner” and we would not all be sitting down together to break bread.
Which then led to daddy fixing peanut butter sandwiches. (I wish I had invented peanut butter-what a billionaire, & genius!)
Or when my “brother from another mother” (not really, but I just claim him as my brother) told me I look “mature” tonight as my outfit wasn’t as young and hip and stylish as I perceived, since others had it on too. I still liked it and plan to wear it again.
Or my oldest running up to my mom’s hair dresser and loudly proclaiming “hey, you cut hair but I don’t come to you because it costs money.” To answer the questions in your mind right this moment: Yes, he heard one of his parents say that. No, it wasn’t his father. And we do still cut the child’s hair, but with three kids and this momma needing to keep her grays in check, you gotta cut costs somehow, so my husband has mastered buzz cuts and we are all just fine with it. Now, if only I could do the same for my daughter…Kidding, Kidding.
All-in-All a good night, leaving me happy with how the party has changed. I appreciate the value of this life so much more through the relationships of family and friends, and especially at the holidays.
That, and then you have the kids who sure do make it interesting.
*Disclaimer-the photo was actually taken at my mom’s! I love her home, but especially at Christmas!