Ward Christmas Party Extraordinaire

A highly anticipated event for many LDS Congregations is the annual Christmas party. Food, fun, friends and lots more food–what’s not to love?

Well, except for when you are put in charge of your new ward’s Christmas decorations. AWK!

I have thrown plenty of large-scale, even city-wide events but here’s the caveat–I always hired out on matters like these. So, I did what any non-decorating person would do: I ensured I had the best darn committee brimming with domestic goddesses and I contacted my sister-in-law Tammy a.k.a. the lead domestic goddess.

To let you know her level of commitment, for her ward party a few years ago, she spent THREE MONTHS making these glitter trees. I spent three hours re-glittering them all and it almost sent me over the edge. Truly, I bow down to her. But not in a goddess-worshipping-kind-of-way because that would be worshiping false gods and she’s as true as they come.

Generally ward parties are held at the meeting house but this year, they rented out the Midway Community Center and the outdoor skating rink in town square. The only challenge was the gym (where we served the food) was small, only seating a fraction of our 500+ ward members. The upside is there was less to decorate. My committee met the morning of the party and within a few hours, we had the community center looking beautiful!

Enter: Murphy’s Law.

I was given a special key for the Community City that was only programmed to work from 10 a.m.-noon and then again at 5 p.m. As my friend Tanya and I were leaving at 1 p.m., we tested the door to see if it was locked. Huh. It was still open. We tried a few times but still, the same result.

And this is where my brain damage came into play. I stepped outside with Tanya to test the door and voila, it finally locked!

The problem? My car keys, purse and cell phone were still inside.

And so we made the journey to the city hall offices, only to find out the one person who could open the door was still at lunch,

Eventually, I got back inside to retrieve my items and had to return again at 5 p.m. to open the doors for the party but you’d better believe the first chance I got, I handed that key off to someone else.

As for the party, we had a blast with a video, great performances, delicious food and wonderful company. The Community Center was bursting at the seams so it was a relief to walk next door to the Midway Ice Skating Rink. Located in the middle of Town Square, this rink is the focal point of so many activities in the winter and I’m ashamed to say this was our first time there.

I immediately came to life the moment I hit the ice, channeling all my wonderful memories of growing up in Canada skating at the Willow Park Community Center and for miles along the Bow River. I had a blast teaching the youth how to spin, forming trains and racing around the rink. Bode has never liked skating but had fun with friends while Hadley had a great time with her tween minions. Jamie was en route back to Colorado for his company party.

At one point, I was talking to some of the teenagers and a gal in a long skirt was numbered among them. I kindly asked if she was cold but she said “no,” only to realize she wasn’t with our group… and was with some other young women in old-fashioned long skirts. And I inwardly groaned at my social faux-pas as I wondered if I was having my first polygamist interaction since moving to Utah. I learned they were visiting from British Columbia and often skated on their pond, which begs the question are there polygamists in Canada? Or maybe they were Hutterites? We often visited their colonies in Southern Alberta to buy their delicious farmed goods. Or maybe they just like skating in frigid temperatures wearing long skirts?

Regardless of who they were, we had a lot of fun with them and one of the girls and I formed a spin circle that had me completely discombobulated. Just as I broke free,  Jamie’s home teaching companion Aaron asked if I was dizzy and proceeded to spin me around even more until I was ready to puke.

Ahhh, good times on the ice.

The next day, I woke up feeling like I was Cinderella after the ball (read: it wasn’t pretty) but I had such fun with these princes that night.

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