Saturday, December 10, 2005
The Christmas Party
First on the agenda was Christmas dinner. Everyone contributed to the feast. We had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls, and, courtesy of Alicia, perogies and (fake) sour cream. Delicious.
After dinner, we gathered in the living room. Mary's family always reads a poem that her dad wrote, so we passed it around the room and all took turns. Then Matt and Randy read the real story of Christmas and Keith led us in some carols.
We took a break to clean up the kitchen, eat dessert (pecan pie, pumpkin pie, shortbread cookies, molasses cookies and my pictured gingerbread cookie tree) and then reconvened to play Dirty Santa. We had a White Elephant theme this year, so the gifts were pretty funny. Russ and I walked away with a cell phone car adaptor and some Avon aftershave and body powder. Even still, we did better that some people, but, to protect the not-so-innocent, I won't go into detail. (Nothing really bad, I promise--there were kids playing with us!)
The rest of the evening we just visited, watched Elf and A Christmas Story and ate. And ate. I have no idea when the last person went to bed, but it was some time after 3 AM, I believe.
This morning we got up and ate a big breakfast. Then it was time for the real gift exchange. We let all the kids open their presents first (they'd been dying to all night!). Then we revealed our secret pals. I used the opportunity to re-gift my new aftershave lotion, throwing it in the bag of presents I was giving Travis.
Russ and I headed home at around 1:30 PM. Everyone else was still going strong but we were tired. Guess we're getting old. But we were glad to have this chance to start a new team tradition and to celebrate with each other. I can't imagine how hard it must be for missionaries who don't have teammates to help them through the holidays!
While we were opening gifts this morning, we received a call from the owner of the building we are trying to rent for our church building. A meeting has been set up on Tuesday for what could possibly be our final round of negociations. Please pray that everything goes well and that we can get this building nailed down soon. I haven't said much about it on this blog, but it is a wonderful facility and would be an excellent tool in our work.