“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality” – Washington Irving
Fellowship with friends is essential to our pleasure. Throughout the year busyness can rob us of time to spend with friends. This is unfortunate because we all need fellowship. We need to laugh and share our dreams, successes and defeats with those who will truly care. The Christmas season is the perfect opportunity for a gathering of friends.
We are not the only ones in need of some girlfriend time. Our girlfriends need some merriment and fellowship too. Many women are busy with work and family, having little time for themselves and even less time for being intentional in their relationships. We incorrectly believe that everyone else is regularly getting together and have moved on and left us behind. It is likely that those we think moved on, haven’t, and feel in need of fellowship just as much as we do.
Not everyone enjoys playing hostess. There are those of us who love to throw a party, but the majority are hoping someone else will have a party and remember to invite them. Although there are multitudes of entertaining ideas that set the bar quite high, you are not required to meet any of these unattainable standards.
Since my purpose in sharing these ideas is to keep it simple, here are some simple ideas for including and enjoying friendship festivities in your holiday plans. Don’t wait for an invitation from your friends who are most likely hoping someone else will do the invites; you be the one to host the festivities.
Host a Gathering of Friends
I recently hosted my own girlfriend get-together. Like everyone else, I’m busy. So, I decided to just make the commitment, ready or not. I chose a date and didn’t wait until everything was perfect. I chose a Thursday evening knowing that weekends are usually full for busy women.
Although I love to entertain and tend to be an over achiever in this area, I’m learning to keep things simple. I invited my friends to a pitch-in. I made one main dish and had my hostess drink station stocked full. I did set the table with real plates, cloth napkins and candles, only because I wanted to bless my friends with a lovely dinner. You are free to use paper products and throw everything away when it’s over.
One of my friends brought a rotisserie chicken from the store, another brought some other store-bought items. Let your gathering be a guilt free zone. The goal is their presence not culinary quality. You could state up front to just bring something to share from the market. Remove the obstacles that will keep them from coming.
We’ve all heard of ugly sweater contests. I’m more a fan of fun and festive sweaters. Invite your friends to wear their most festive sweater. Award a prize to your favorite sweater and be sure to take photos, (and share them on social media.)
Holiday sweaters are garments you should wear all season. Be proud of your holiday spirit and spread the joy at work and the local market. Feel no shame. Kevin McCallister stated that a kid in the second grade could get beat up for wearing a crazy sweater. We’re no longer in the second grade. Display your statement of liberation from the expectations of others. Wear your favorite Christmas sweaters daily.
While you’re at it, wear a hat. I own a cork screw Santa hat that I love to wear during December. I call it my Cindy-loo-Hoo hat. It’s very Seuss like.
We’re always afraid of what people will think. I loved turning 50. For the most part, I stopped worrying what others thought. I can tell that people don’t think I’m a nut when I wear my little hat. I think that it brings smiles to busy people who maybe wish they were brave enough to wear a crazy hat.
I saw a cashier recently wearing antlers. My first thought was, “What a fun guy. I wish I had remembered to wear my little hat.” Be brave and have fun. Wear your Santa hat.
Play Games, all sorts
Get-togethers can be simple affairs where you just sit and visit, but you can also add just a touch of frivolity with a simple game. White elephant gift exchanges can be fun, but I prefer a game I created. (I think I created it) I call it, “Pass the Present.”
For this game each participant will need a gift. You can ask each person to bring one. At my recent gathering I decided to supply the gifts for this game. Each gift was a book with the theme of friendship. The gifts are wrapped and secret.
Sitting in a circle, the host reads a story. Every time the narrator reads the word, “left,” the presents are passed to the left. When the word, “right” is read the presents pass to the right. Choose or write a silly story with plenty of rights and lefts in it. When the story ends, each participant opens the gift that they end up with.
I’m including the story I wrote for my party this year, but you can also write your own. Write something fun and silly that pertains to your particular group of friends. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just filled with plenty of the words, right and left.
If it’s not already on your calendar, I hope that you are now inspired to host an evening with your friends. We need our girlfriends. Let them know how important they are to you by kindling the fire of hospitality.
“Christmas will always be, as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” – Dr. Seuss
I’m excited to announce that next week I will be unveiling my Christmas box. I’ve been filling a box with special items for one of my subscribers. You all mean so much to me I wanted to have something special for one lucky winner. One winner will be randomly chosen from my subscribers so, help me spread the joy. Invite your friends to subscribe on the link below. When they do they will automatically receive my FREE eBook, 24 Everyday Simple Pleasures. This is my girlfriend gathering for my subscribers. See you next week!
CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EBOOK!
MY HOLIDAY SALE STARTS TODAY!! PURCHASE BOTH EBOOKS, 75 SEASONAL PLEASURES – SUMMER and 75 SEASONAL PLEASURES – AUTUMN, AND GET ONE FREE. You will need to place both eBooks in your cart, then use the code – christmas to receive your discount. Each book is filled with 75 simple pleasures to enjoy in each season plus beautiful color photography. These make great gifts for yourself and others. Remember the sale code is: christmas – all lowercase.
Pass the Present Game Story
The alarm was ringing. It had no right to make such an unpleasant noise. It should have left her alone. She hit the snooze with her left hand, 5 minutes later her right hand smacked it again, then her left and her right and finally she threw it across the room, right into the pile of other alarm clocks. Oh well, it was the only one she had left so what did it matter. It was her right to rebel against morning.
She placed her right foot on the chilly floor and pulled it right back again. Slowly she inched her left toes out of the covers, but they too went right back in the covers. She figured it was like diving right into a pool. You just have to do it. Inching in is torture.
So she just jumped right out of bed and ran right into the shower. The water was down-right cold. Everyone else must have already showered and not left her any hot water. She got right mad.
Right after she got dressed, she knew a hot cup of coffee would fix things right up, but there was none left. Maybe a bowel of cereal would be the right ticket, but there was none of that left either. “Is there nothing left to eat or drink in this house?” she hollered.
She left the kitchen and decided to throw some wash right into the washer, but the kids had left a dirty load unwashed right where they stuck it.
She left the laundry and decided to check on her plans for the day. She knew she left them on the desk, but they weren’t there. Had she left them in the office? Had she left them on the dining table? She had no clue where she had left them. She was going to look in a few more places, right after she went to the bathroom… That’s where she left them. Right in the tub. Doesn’t everyone leave their schedule right in the tub?
She finally got the kids on the right track and had them completing their right tasks hopefully doing the right things.
She had some work to do on the computer. The computer made her down right crazy. She was surprised she had any hair left. Who said technology made life easier? They weren’t right in the head!
When she got her formatting right, she wanted to call anyone to say, “I got it right!!” But she was left to tell her kids who were not impressed.
At times the day in and day out issues of life would wear on her. She wondered if she was parenting right. She wondered if she was walking right with God. She wondered if she ate right, exercised right, wrote right or did anything right at all.
Then the phone rang. She left her doubts behind and answered to hear a friendly voice on the other end. Her girlfriend had called to chat. She too wondered if she had raised her kids right, had she done countless things right?
They wondered together. They laughed together and left their cares. They decided that even if they were doing it ALL wrong at least they were doing it wrong together.
When they hung up they were left with courage to do it all again. They were left with a feeling of acceptance. They were left with hope that tomorrow they would do just a little bit better.
Girlfriends… God got it right when he gave them to us.
Thanks to my Mom Judy Kaufmann, Sister-in-law Becky Kaufmann and my Emily who allowed me to post their photos.
And as always Thank you to my daughter Anna Spence my photographer!