I should know better than to order a holiday sweater online. I did it in plenty of time, had it been the right size when it arrived in the mail but it was so big it looked more like a Christmas dress. The quality was good and the cuteness factor was right up there with the best of them, so I returned it for an exchange. Big mistake. I should have returned it for credit and ordered another one only smaller. It would have come in the mail in time for my parties. Can you believe it, I’ve got five on my calendar this year! The first one was this week with my group of Gathering Girls. Next up is a UAW party followed by a Red Hat Society party, a book club party and the most important of all, my family party the Saturday before Christmas. The sweater will probably get here in time for the last party, but since I plan on living another year I’ll have a Christmas theme sweater to wear in 2018. It will be my very first holiday themed sweater.
The Gathering Girls party was at the condo of a lady who henceforth be will be known as H.P. Planning a party in a group that’s never had one before was tricky and when we couldn’t agree on a menu we decided that since H.P. volunteered to host the party, she’d get to decide. Her house, her rules. When she announced her menu, I jumped in (too quickly) to volunteer to bring a dessert. Little did I know that two of us would get a pass from bringing a dish and instead would be assigned to help serve and clean up in the kitchen. I do those two things far better than I cook or bake. But I’ve gotta say I love the concept of letting a couple of party attenders opt out from bringing something. The holidays can get overwhelming and if not having to bring a dish to pass takes the pressure off someone, it could make a difference. And surprisingly, it felt good not to be constantly looking for ways to jump up and be helpful to the host. I was the dessert lady, not the coffee-tea-or-let-me-take-your-plate lady.
I call myself a ‘food assembler’ not a cook so for my dessert I dug up recipes for mini tarts and I bought a backup Oreo Ice Cream Roll dessert just in case my tarts didn’t turn out well. I made chocolate cordials, Italian almond orange and lemon curd tarts. The morning of the party I was torn over bringing the tarts or the backup dessert so I brought them both but only the tarts got served. My lack of kitchen confidence is officially out of the closet with my gal pals. Still, they all had glowing things to say about how the tarts tasted and looked and to the best of my knowledge they didn’t send anyone to the hospital the next day.
H.P.’s tree was the prettiest one I’ve seen in ages; it was thickly covered with ornaments and birds from all over the world and our party was timed perfectly because when she takes her tree down she’s going to divide her tree decorations up to give away. So it was her very last tree. The luncheon table was decked out in fine linens and china and it sat in a lovely room with an oriental inspired decor`. After coffee was served, we opened gifts. We each brought a ten dollar “consumable” gift to exchange and one woman gave Christmas postage stamps. How cleaver was that! We tried to play a game where you get to steal gifts from each other but none of us could remember how it went. And not a single one of us thought about googling gift exchange games. If there had been millennials in the room their cell phones would have come out and a quick draw contest would have taken place to see who could come up with the information first.
Then we got to joking about becoming a modern day version of the Golden Girls and all of us moving in together. H.P. had enough room, but like planning the party menu we couldn’t decide on which of us most closely aligns with which characters on the TV sitcom. None of us wanted to be lusty, southern belle Blanche Devereaux so I might have been the one who suggested the two youngest would have to duke it out because they’re the only ones in the group who can still turn a few male heads. As per our Modus Operandi laughter filled the air and after the only Trump supporter in our group had to leave to go pick up her grand kids from school, we got around to irreverently solving the world’s problems. Once again, we found ourselves trying to decide which ladies among us would make the best leaders in Washington---after we kicked the whole bunch there to the curb. I called dibs Mitch McConnell’s job in the senate. No one stepped up to the plate wanting to be the president so I was drafting a bill in my head that would allow us to do a nationwide talent search for another No Drama Obama type president. Our three branches of government would never be the same if we wickedly funny widows were in charge. ©