'Tis the season of the holiday party. Although we enjoy all the celebrations, we do have a favorite party that we've been attending for about twenty years.
Here's why it's special. First, the people—the core people are there year after year. It is the only time we see some of them, but it's always fun to catch up. And every year there are new people to meet. We've made the 30-minute drive in snowstorms and in balmy December weather. Sometimes we have other parties the same evening, but we always spend the most time at this one.
Everyone brings a dessert to add to those traditionally baked by the hostess. And everyone takes some cookies home that they didn't bring so that the host and hostess do not have to consume all the left-over calories. There's a huge pot of hot mulled wine on the stove that's always our first stop.
Here's the best part. We sing Christmas carols. We actually have song books, and we gather around the Baby Grand to sing our favorites. Often the hostess chimes in on her flute. There are some people with really good voices. And then there's me. But if I try hard and don't sing too loudly, I can get away with being a little off key. I love trying.
We're worried that this year may be the last for our favorite party. These events get a little harder to pull off as we grow older. It's a huge commitment and a lot of work for the host and hostess who might just prefer to be celebrating where they don't have to do the work. It seems that most of us are entertaining at home a bit less each year.
I remember when a close friend who is more than a decade older than I am stopped entertaining at home, and I thought to myself that I would never prefer an evening in a restaurant to my dinner parties.
Sometimes you just don't know what you don't know.