As everyone knows, 2018 was not the greatest year for us. So when the holidays hit, I was really ready to take a break and decompress. I wanted to be completely lazy, reflect and energize for the new year. What that generally meant was to sleep in, wear sweats, not shower and watch mindless television. When not in my desired coma state, I engulfed myself in self help books, podcasts to get psyched for 2019. It was time for me to work all the 2018 gunk out and start a fresh year.
Keeping in mind all the ambitious goals I stated above, I did make one commitment during my vacation and that was to host the family’s annual Chanukah Party. It was a tradition that Robin and I started two years ago and I thought it was something we should keep going for the family and divert our attention from all the funerals and sad memories. Unfortunately, I waited a little too long to get the invites out and missed my Chanukah window of time. Most everyone had already committed to other parties which was discouraging and made me feel like I was cheated on a little (boo hoo)!! Thank goodness for my niece Michelle, who stepped in and suggested that we celebrate on December 22nd and thus we were A GO!
I decided to call it the Christmakah Party as it was not quite Chanukah and not quite Christmas. I thought I was being so clever to cover up for my poor planning skills with a snappy merging of holidays. Boy I fooled everyone – NOT. But who cares, I could use the grieving widow card and get a pass this year.
Although Robin and I enjoyed hosting our annual parties in the past, getting ready for the event was a different story. It was always a nail biter to the end as we crammed to get things done before the first guest arrived. I would get frustrated with him because everything he did was last minute and he would get annoyed with me because I turned into a neurotic dictator and stressed everyone out. It made for fun dynamics before the party started and definitely encouraged heavy drinking to get through the day. This year, Marla, my best friend, flew in to help me set up for the party. She was so kind to think ahead and make sure that void would be filled before I even thought about it on my own. Also, my mother in law, Bev stepped in as usual to make the latkas, pies and ensured all miscellaneous errands were handled, I was amazed that we were all set up and finished way in advance of the party. I couldn’t believe it. All that unnecessary stress and aggravation was gone. We were able to enjoy a pre game Cosmo and for me to secretly declare victory that all the drama in the past was in fact entirely Robin’s fault!! ha ha – just kidding – love you honey:)
The party was a lot of fun and people generally appeared to be enjoying themselves. We played our usual games including kahoot trivia and then moved into the annual gift exchange. My niece Riley mc’d the event and tried to get 20 + people to pay attention to the rules which was proving to be challenging at best. The plan was for the first person to pick a gift and then the next person had an option to steal or select another present. After much confusion or perhaps politeness, only one gift seemed to evoke a response that initiated any type of steal. It was a fork, knife and spoon caddy which was declared the best present of the night.
As folks were opening up gifts and I was tending to the dogs, I lost track of who had picked which gift. I was especially excited to see who would select my grab bag item, which I thought would be hottest present of the night. It was a selfie lighting ring that could be used on your iPhone to take great pictures. When I returned, I asked Marla’s mom (Aunt Marilyn) who comes from the flip phone era, to show me her gift. She unenthusiastically whipped out the selfie ring and explained it was a CHIP CLIP. It was a real Charlie Brown moment for me (including the forehead slap) as my fabulous hot gift was dismissed as a plastic closure for a bag of snacks. I explained what it was and demonstrated how it worked. Aunt Marilyn did not seem impressed but there was definitely new enthusiasm from the millennial and Gen X and Y family members. My niece even ordered her own from Amazon that night and Marla took the gift off of her mom’s hands. But honestly, the thrill was gone… In true fashion to our previous gift exchanges, this one once again fell a little flat from the anticipated excitement we had all expected after tweaking the rules. Oh well — maybe next year!!
While on the topic of 2019, I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for all your support in 2018 and helping our family get through an unbearable time of deep loss. I appreciate the love you have shown and thus gave us hope to carry on. I know there are some lessons we need to learn from this whole ordeal and am hoping we will all grow from this experience. Thank you for following along on our journey and it brings me a great sense of satisfaction that I may be helping others or just providing a laugh or two. Please enjoy the 2019 blog as we move and explore life and begin to heal… Peace and Love….