My madre throws a big party every year at our house here in Boise (this was year 8) and I have never been to one. I have always been gone doing something else or working or SOMETHING. Well, I was scheduled to work on the day of her party this year, and I was accepting that yet again, I would not be attending the much talked about Ornament Party thrown by my mom, Lorna (hence the punny nickname "Lornament" dubbed by ladies who attend faithfully). But something lonely snapped within me this year and I hitched a ride with a friend to get back home and arranged for a shuttle to take me back to Rexburg. I mean, c'mon. I had even made an ornament.
The party goes like this: My mom has a friend who goes through the Christmas stuff in our garage and every year decorates our house BEAUTIFULLY. The Saturday before Thanksgiving, all of my mom's friends come over with a hand-made ornament. This is a VERY big rule. The ornament must be home-made. One year, a lady brought a store bought tree decoration and my mom told her:
"That was your only chance. If you bring a store-bought one again, you won't be invited back."
There is usually food that my mom makes, but with the economy this year it was soup and salad potluck style. Can I just tell you that Butternut Squash Bisque is now my most very favorite soup ever? Yeah, no chicken noodle here folks. Butternut. Squash. Bisque.
My mom slaves over making home-made hand-out ornaments for everyone (she makes 30 of these and let's just say they're not made out of pipe cleaners). On the back of each ornament is a number. Once everyone has eaten, they go up to our Christmas tree, and take an ornament. Whatever number is on the back is "their number." This assigns the order in which people can pick to open a new gift, or steal one that they like from someone else. Once an ornament has been stolen three times, it belongs to that person. I thought about the people who's ornaments don't get stolen and asked my mom if any one's feelings ever get hurt.
This party was not for the reverent church mouse. It was brutal! There was jumping up and down, there was screaming, there was lying and cheating and plotting... it was the greatest thing I've ever seen. I thought I was suddenly watching a clean version of desperate housewives, but instead about fighting over husbands, the claws were out for the Santa made out of sculpting clay.
At one point, my mom and a good friend of hers were standing up on opposite sides of the room, screaming about an ornament from YEARS ago! As my mom's friend put: "We're lucky we're such good friends."
In the end, there was an ornament scandal where one lady plotted to get her own decoration back because she decided she didn't want to give it away. In the end, one lady made me feel better because she said if she wouldn't have accidentally broken hers, she would have stolen the one I made. In the end, I got cute scrapbook blocks that say JOYFUL on one side and WINTER on the other. In the end, our faucet exploded on Sister VandeMerwe who then shouted the S-word incredibly loud with no shame.
In the end, my mom throws the best parties ever.