Top 5 Reasons to Crash Your Sister-in-Law’s Ward Christmas Party

We had planned to drive to Utah last Saturday, the day after the kids got out of school for the holiday break. But there was a complication: Utah’s weather. They were getting slammed by snow storms and both routes through Colorado and Wyoming were risky. On Thursday, I worriedly watched the weather while Jamie was at a Christmas party and when he arrived home at 6:30 p.m., I told him our dilemma.

“So, let’s leave tomorrow (Friday) then,” he suggested.

I was shocked, then elated. I had hoped he’d say that but when you’re self-employed it’s tough to get away earlier. But then I panicked. I had to do all our packing and round up all our gifts in just a few hours?! Somehow we pulled it off and despite a few precarious stretches of road in Wyoming, we arrived in Utah in a very small window between two very big storms.

And how glorious our arrival was!

Sledding at Sugar House Park, Utah

Dear (brown) Denver: this is what a white Christmas looks like.

We stopped by Jamie’s sister Tammy’s house and she was exhausted after setting up her ward (congregation) Christmas party. Did someone say party? We just happened to be there early…and available. And so we did what any moochers would do: we invited ourselves.

The party we crashed was actually a Christmas breakfast. Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Crash Your Sister-in-Law’s Ward Christmas Party.

#5. Hot chocolate bar. All the food at the potluck breakfast was amazing–from bananas foster French toast casserole to Jamie’s sister’s delicious potato casserole with Gruyère cheese. But my favorite was the darling hot chocolate bar with delicious, high-quality cocoa, peppermint marshmallows, syrups, whipped cream and candies.

I tried to take a picture before the table got ravaged but darn people kept coming and coming and coming. Talk about moochers (it takes one to know one).

#4. Hanging out with our edible twin cousins.

At a recent Santa encounter, Berkley asked him for a goat.

“Why do you want a goat?”
“Because I don’t have one.” Duh.

#3. The glorious snow. The ground looked like a puffed pillow, icicles framed the backdrop of the Christmas party and we later built snow forts and appropriately went to see Frozen.

Tammy is a pro interior designer.  If Mother Nature hadn’t lended assistance for our winter wonderland, I’m sure Tammy would have pulled off something just as good.

#2. Anyone who knows me knows I love bringing out my pipe chimes to play “Jingle Bells” every Christmas. But I have a new obsession: COWBELLS. Since my LDS mission in Switzerland, I’ve loved cowbells and at every Olympic games I’ve attended, the Swiss are always there sounding their mellifluous rings. But I never knew they could be actual instruments.  A colorful German-loving character in Tammy’s ward regularly gives cowbell performances and with his professional sound system, that guy was amazing.

I later cornered him. Where did he get those genius cowbells? (Ernst Licht.) How did he learn how to do them? Did he perform on German Idol?

I’m very serious about saving my money to purchase a set ($600–awk!) Jamie knows I’m very serious but has been my husband long enough to know he can’t change my mind about something as important as cowbells.

Me: “Bode, when I purchase my cowbells, will you play them with me?”
Jamie: “Bode, don’t be a sheep.”
Me: “Technically he’d be a cow.”

#1. We sat with some of Tammy and Jeremy’s friends. Jamie’s mom also joined us and at one point, their buddy leaned over to Jamie and asked if he was Tammy’s dad.

After picking himself up off the floor, Jamie later pointed out this guy’s clothing.

“For someone wearing a Yale shirt, he’s not very smart.”