Christmas is only weeks away, and that brings about the annual Calvin Christmas Party. It's an event that I always look forward to. A time to gather together with other members of Calvin CRC and fellowship with some class, eat some really good food, and have some fun.
The event always starts with myself going out to purchase some things to decorate the tables with. I enjoy setting up the tables each year. Presentation is everything you know.
Chris helped me this year. Thank you son for your assistance. It helped to speed things up a great deal.
Here is the final product after we spent about 2.5 hours getting things ready.
The end result of our tables. Yes, I'm admiring my handiwork. Deal with it! : )
This is our gift table. this year we did our gift exchange a bit differently. I'll get to that later on in the blog.
Our coffee and punch table.
The final completed table set and ready to go.
This year we had about 45 guests. Each year Leo dresses up by putting on his Christmas tie. I LOVE that tie. He said he would will it to me upon his death. I think I'll take him up on that.....
Evert and Sandy catching up on life.
The seniors of the group.....oops, not supposed to mention that eh Harry?
Widya settling in with some hot apple cider. It was good!
Leo and Joycegina settling in for a time of fellowship before we get things moving.
We had a contingent of young people come this time as well. Nice to see. They were in charge of instructing the guests on how the gift exchange was supposed to work. I think Chris is confused himself.
Ummmmm, well, Eric decided to liven things up with this scary pose. He REALLY needs to get out more, don't you think? : )
As people arrived they placed their food in the kitchen. Some put the finishing touches on their main dishes. Louise placed numbers on each of the dishes. At the suggestion of a congregational member we decided to hold a fun contest for the Appetizers, Salads, Main Courses, and Desserts. As we ate our meal we judged the dishes based on presentation, taste (that was my main concern) and originality. You really had to concentrate during this meal.
Here's David in the Christmas mood. After looking at this picture I'm not sure if I was taking a picture of David, or the refrigerator. Sorry about that David.
I think Michael is ready to fall over here. Makes me woozy just looking at the picture.
As the h'orderves came out, people began to sample and judge. If you look really closely at Hannah (right), you will see a scowl on her face. Apparently she doesn't like fish. She tried the shrimp anyway. What a hoot to see how she reacted! I don't think she picked this as her favourite dish.
The crowd now begins to hover over the h'orderves.
Eventually I asked everyone to find a place at a table and we began with singing some Christmas Carols a capella. This group once again sounded very good. Louise then explained the judging process and I got people up and eating. The youth table went first, and our table went last. That was done on purpose so I could, in good conscience, have our table go first for Dessert.
There were many excellent dishes.
I couldn't try them all, but the ones I did try were VERY good.
Bonnie thought I was the Pavarazzi, taking pictures of everyone, everywhere. She should feel honored, I think. : )
Here is the youth table. They all look so good. David with his cheek full of something, and Chris stuffing his face. Seems the pizza was popular amongst this table. Speaking of stuffing your face, if you follow this blog at all, you'll recall that at one point I commented on Evert and his eating a hamburger with a knife and fork. Apparently I've learned from Evert and taken on this polite way of eating. I found myself eating chicken legs, not with my fingers, but using a knife and fork. I guess Evert is rubbing off on me.....hmmmmm! : )
Enjoying food and fellowship together. Ministry is about relationships, relationships, relationships, and this is a great way to foster them.
Louise apparently didn't want me taking a picture of her mouth full.
After our delicious meal, we took a bit of time to do an initial clean up. Here is Bill taking charge of the dishwasher.
It was soon time for desserts to come out. Here is Cheryl preparing her dish. It had a smattering of three different kinds of alcoholic beverage hidden within. It was sooooo good!
There were many different wonderful desserts. On the left is a corn starch layered dessert and to the right some very delicious apple crisp.
I think this was Cheryl's finished dessert.
The dessert table. I was so glad I decided to have our table go first. The YP weren't happy they had to go last.
After dessert, and judging, we pulled the tables back and created a circle. We placed the $5 wrapped gifts in the middle, and I proceeded to explain how things were going to work this year. Each gift was given a number as people came. They were also given a sheet of paper with that same # on it. They were to write a little known fact about themselves on that sheet and place it in a basket.
Now that we were all assembled in a circle, I picked up one of the slips of paper, asked a YP to get the corresponding numbered gift, and I read what was on the paper. Whoever guessed who it was, received that gift and was out of the game.
It was a hoot. We found out all sorts of interesting things. I received permission from the group to write them down, so read on and enjoy.
Some names are attached, some aren't because, well, they didn't follow the instructions completely : (
- Eric V - In 1984 I was inspected by the German Minister of Defence in West Germany.
- Wilma M - Had Whooping cough when little.
- Sonja - I did shot put on the track and field team when I was in high school.
- Walter - I think that more than 15 plaster casts on my leg is the record for this group
- Bev - I'm changing my place of living for the first time in 45 years.
- Hannah - I visited the Anne Frank house in Holland
- Widya - Surabaya ????
- Harry - Plays Bridge (but not the ones with cars on them: ) )
- Doug - I was born on the day of a total solar eclipse
- Al - I have six brothers and 3 sisters
- Cheryl - I ran myself over in a car. (The explanation was amazing, and even more amazing that she lived to tell us about it.)
- Sandy (and apparently Al too) - I was once a Leaf fan.
- Henry - I volunteer at the Bible's For Mission Store.
- Chris - I like to cook bacon and eggs for lunch after church. (now that needs some clarification because he actually doesn't do the bacon, I do!).
- Debra - I love cats.
- Leo - I'm fascinated by sacrifice, especially human sacrifice.....no comment : )
- Elizabeth - my husband and I enjoyed a most wonderfu trip this fall out West.
- Cathy - A high point of my life was jumping off a cliff into the river on a white-water rafting trip.
- Joycegina - I once fed a giraffe and discovered they have long black tongues (hey, I didn't even know that.....I think I should talk to my wife more often! )
- Ron - I'm lactose intollerant (some would say I'm just intollerant : ), but they'd be WRONG!)
- Eric B - I celebrated my 22nd birthday in a castle in Belgium (I just hope it wasn't in the dungeon. : )
- Annet - I do not like babysitting in the nursery!! I can't remember the last time I did this....(I don't either Annet, and I CAN remember).
- I've been to the Grand Canyon 3 times
- Bonnie - I am part Scottish and Irish (now that explains A LOT!! : ) )
- Louise - I was my high school's yearbook editor
- Linda - I enjoy baking, but don't bake very often
- Donna Lee - I was born in Nova Scotia
- Megan - I have a turtle (probably called "speedy" too, eh Megan).
- Evert - I lived in Saudi Arabia
- Martin (in absentia) - I ate 3 breakfasts a day for a while (he wasn't at the party because he was eating his second dinner at the time. - Hey, that's what someone in the crowd shouted out. I thought it worthy for printing).
- Leah - I've been to Singapore
- I skipped grade 6 (but this person couldn't seem to remember to put their NAME on the sheet. Maybe they shouldn't have skipped?)
- Wilma M - I was raised on a farm
- Harry - I had three lab Retrievers called "Jet"
- Michael - I broke my arm
- Mary Jane - I have a magazine (profile) article written about me
- Brenda - In 2005 I had my birthday (now just hold on, it gets more interesting than that......). I crossed the date line and had my birthday again.
- Wilma B - My favourite # is 17 (apparently that's her birthdate....mine too, actually).
- I learned a lot of Elvis songs as a 10 year old. (I honestly forget who this was...partly because I don't have any appreciation for Elvis songs : ) )
- I was a "Star" Javelin thrower in high school
- Christine - I was 8 months old when I met my dad
- I love to shovel snow (well, you can come to MY house anytime!!)
Here is the group having a great time. Al cheated only once this time (just kidding Al)... He took Sandy's little known fact about being a former leaf fan (much to Chris' dissappointment, as he's an avid leaf fan) for himself. The funniest thing was Sandy didn't respond to that. He just nudged Cheryl and said, "Hey, he wrote down the same thing I did!"
Once we were done, Louise shared with us the winners of the different categories. The races were close as everything was sooooo good.
Here are the results below.
Cheese Spread with Crackers - Judy. She'll be getting us the recipe, it was soooooo good.
Brocolli Salad - Joycegina - I love that salad. The raisins really are the crowning touch.
Meatballs - Cathy. Amazing stuff.
This one was a tie.
1. Straight Trifle - Cheryl. Must have been those three shots of alcohol that got everyone cheery and voting for Cheryl's dish (tee, hee).
2. Strawberry/Chocolate Trifle - Hannah. She made it herself. Great Job Hannah.
After singing one last song (it was hard to get people quieted down after the game) we closed things down by cleaning everything up. Thanks everyone for helping to clean up......though I don't think David was enjoying himself.......but I see Al working hard, and not you David....so why the sad face? :)
So ends another fellowship event at Calvin CRC. Thanks to all who came out and made this so much fun. To those who didn't make it, but were thinking about it, there's always next year. We hope to see you there.