The Last You’ll Ever Hear About This Party.

“So, how did the Christmas party go? I’m dying to know!”
I can’t tell you how many emails, im’s and dm’s I’ve gotten about my party. (11) It’s crazy! People want to know! And I have meant to write about it for about 2 weeks now, but as you may know by now, I’m not the most disciplined writer. (But that is going to change in 2010. I’m going to write so hard and so well. You’ll see.) However, today is my first day of vacation and aside from cleaning the entire, filthy house before company comes over tonight, (look at me! Opening my home to company AGAIN!) I have nothing but time to write.
So.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.
The invitation that I sent out went a little something like this.
“Please come to our house on the 12th of December for a Christmas party! We’ll have cookie decorating for the kids! We’ll make s’mores by the fire pit! We’ll walk to see the Christmas lights! We’ll drink egg nog and wine! There will be a nacho bar! Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater and we’ll have a prize for the ugliest one! IT WILL BE SO MUCH FUN!”
(I was really excited.)
The response from everyone went exactly like this:
“We can’t wait! It will be so much fun.”
“Our whole family will show up in Christmas sweaters!”
“I am having all of my friends looking for a sweater now!”
“Nachos! CAN’T WAIT!”
With the exception of 6 people, everyone marked “attending.”
We went to Costco and bought everything we needed for The Perfect Nacho Bar (including the Triple Slow Cooker Buffet, which I am still obsessed with.) We bought Pennsylvania Dutch egg nog, wine, tons of sugar cookies, frosting, candy, everything we’d need for s’mores. We set up the ping pong table in the garage.
The day of the party, the first text message came.
“we won’t be able to make it.”
Then another one.
“Please don’t be mad, but we can’t make it.”
Then, another one.
“We’re going to try REALLY HARD to be there, but we probably won’t make it.”
Then, ANOTHER ONE.
“My wife has to work til 8, so, we probably won’t make it.”
Then.
It started to rain.
And not just rain. POUR. It was pouring.
We hoped it clear up, because if it didn’t, there would be no s’mores, there would be no Christmas lights.
The rain never cleared up. In fact, it got worse. Streets were flooding! The first couple to arrive said they almost turned around because of the rain.
At 5:00, we had 4 couples here. 3 of them were family.
(10 had RSVP’d.)
I was the only one wearing a stupid ass Christmas sweater.
The party had failed. It wasn’t anything like I had planned.
People flaked. The weather didn’t cooperate. I looked like an asshole with my sweater.
But, you know? If I’ve learned anything over the past 3 years, it’s that life doesn’t always go the way you planned it. Shit happens. I had a choice. I could pout about everything that went wrong (and pretty much everything went wrong.) Or I could make the best of the situation (not to be confused with The Situation.)
I made the best of it.
It wasn’t the kick ass party I had dreamed it would be, but it turned out to be a lovely evening with friends and family. An evening filled with great conversations, lots of laughter.
And nachos. Pounds and pounds of nachos.
We’ve already decided we’re doing it again next year.
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22 thoughts on “The Last You’ll Ever Hear About This Party.

  1. Ryley

    Same thing just happened to my son’s 1st birthday this weekend. I had a choice to make. And I decided it didn’t matter who came (or didn’t come) to his party. It was my baby’s 1st birthday and I was going to have a good time.
    Invited 35 people. Only people I was sure would come, and 8!!! people came. (ALL FAMILY)
    but you know, we had a good time. And my baby had a blast. And we made memories, that’s all that matters! :)

    Reply
  2. Margaret

    Sometimes parties go and sometimes they don’t. We’ve had loads of parties where the house was bursting at the seams and plenty where you could hear the flop sweat burst out on my brow because so few people showed up. It happens ~ this time of year throwing a party is tough ~ I’m glad you had fun because this is what’s important.

    Reply
  3. Amy

    Thank you for posting this. We’re having our annual Christmas party tonight and I have been so excited, except now we’ve had five cancellations, including my co-host, and I’m feeling the negativity rise up. Especially since it’s being catered.

    Reply
  4. stephanie

    I had the same problem with my cookie exchange party last year… tons of people expressed interest, probably 8 or 9 RSVPd yes, then only three others showed up. Yeah… four kinds of cookies. Kind of a bust for a cookie exchange party.
    This year, there were 9 of us! It totally depends on the year… sometimes, people get crazy busy with family or work, other times they are free. Oh, and I totally had the same snowman plates as you! (Target, right? I wanted the blue paper cups I see there too, but my boyfriend talked me out of it. Boo.)

    Reply
  5. Nancy P

    Thank you for posting. I have been wondering how it went. It sounds like you had a nice evening and I’m glad you got to use the Triple Slow Cooker Buffet. Love the nacho bar idea! :)
    I still don’t understand though why the guests didn’t just wear an ugly sweater already! ok, I have to let that go don’t I?

    Reply
  6. Amy

    This was the only party I have ever considered crashing in my entire life! AND I would have except I live in Washington (state). And I couldn’t find my ugly sweater with the battery operated Christmas Lights.

    Reply
  7. mouthy_broad (michele)

    thank you for updating us.
    the ugly xmas sweater party i was supposed to go to got cancelled b/c the east coast just had a meffing BLIZZARD. yes, i am bitter. bah. but i will get over it.
    but my husband and i were going to make ugly and VULGAR (think reindeer humping) xmas t-shirts (since there were no ugly sweaters to be found) and i was going to take a picture and send it to you to make you feel better. but we didn’t even do that b/c oh yea, blizzard. effer.
    next year!

    Reply
  8. Christine

    That’s great that you were able to have fun even if no one else pulled out an ugly sweater. WTF peoples.
    That said, duuuuuuuuuuude. Nachos. People who didn’t show were the ones who lost out.
    A nacho bar is an inspired and beautiful thing. We’re moving into a bigger house and I was hoping to have a potluck house warming party, but screw that, because duh: NACHO BAR! NACHO BAR! (clearly excited and over-enthusiastic.)

    Reply
  9. nil zed

    yes, do it again next year. By the 3rd, or maybe 4th year, your party will be the one everyone else has to plan around. Newcomers to your circle of friends & family will have to settle for a week sooner (too close to turkey day/too far from christmas) or the next week (too close to christmas, too much competition) because Y will have the second saturday sewn up with her ugly sweater party.

    Reply
  10. Nicki

    I pretty much expect nothing to ever go how I planned and just roll with it. It’s a lot less disappointing that way. Seems like you did, too. I always love your pictures, by the way. You’re a great photographer. I bet you could even make me look pretty. ;)

    Reply
  11. Elena

    Congrats on keeping your nachos, I mean, chin, up! I am currently wallowing in angry doldrums myself so you can pat yourself on the back for being a Shining Internet Example FOR GOOD!

    Reply
  12. Faith

    Dammit, Y! I will blame you for the likelihood of an unquenchable desire for nachos for the next several days that I can already feel creeping up on me as I type this. CURSES! ::shakes fist at Y::

    Reply
  13. Pam

    I was totally stealing your nacho bar idea and really wanted to know what you had offered… meat? cheese? what other toppings? Bc we are having a party on 1/2 and so far 15 have said yes (and likely will show up) but 45 can’t figure out how to reply to the evite that they viewed on 12/9! and we have two feet of snow which means there is no street parking available which means we may have to cancel the party anyway.
    But back to you — I am sorry your “friends” let you down, and that the weather didn’t cooperate, but your pictures are great! and yes, maybe next year, when folks get the “Second Annual Joy Unexpected Ugly Sweater Party”, they’ll jump at the chance!

    Reply
  14. Gabriella

    My husband and I would have come out (except from the long drive from Raleigh!). We both have exceptionally tacky Christmas sweaters that we made for one of those parties two years ago and we’d love to go to one again!

    Reply
  15. Renee

    You had me at, “I looked like an asshole in my sweater”.
    Hi, you don’t know me, but you’re the new me so I know you’re cool. I met up with an old friend, Lena that is how she describe you & recommended I read your blog. Glad I did tonight.
    OK my son would just die if I showed up in that Mario costume. Think I’ll have to get that one this year. Props for posting the pic.
    I’m also a sucker for great photography! Read: JEALOUS I can’t take a good photo if my life depended on it. Oh & you made me laugh at least four times so I had to leave a comment.
    I’m glad Lena befriended you.
    (It’s 10:48 & I’m way too tired to spellcheck, so just think I’m 2.75X smarter then my comment looks)

    Reply

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