Last night, in our humble abode, we hosted the Second Annual Mercy Street Family Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange and oh what fun it was.
Here's the post from last year and I will say, the 2nd annual was looking like it was going to be a little less stressful. Not that it should have been stressful last year but speaking with an angry tone (translate: yelling in tears) at my husband about plates - in front of my mother-in-law, certainly didn't help me to get that whole laid-back vibe going. The difference this year may have to do with the fact that I cashed in on Trey's Mother's Day gift to me which was a day of house keeping. Lupe, the angel in pink sweatpants, and her daughter showed up at nine and cleaned until three. When I walked in from picking up carpool, I almost cried. And I'm not kidding even a little. The smell of Fabuloso Lavender is a scent so intoxicating, I didn't care what kind of plates we used; as long as they were Christmas-ey, but not tacky-Christmas or cheesy-Christmas. Ok, I still cared a little.
Not having to clean my house top to bottom gave me time to get everything else taken care of in plenty of time for the party to start without speaking in an angry tone to anyone.
Even though we had a day of crazy weather in Dallas and the high was only 32, we had a great turnout and enjoyed a yummy dinner as you can see here...
And the White Elephant gifts were awesome, especially the one Joey brought...
Oh, can you not see anything? Yeah, that's because about five minutes before the party started, our POWER WENT OUT. NO POWER. NOTHING BUT DARKNESS. D.A.R.K.N.E.S.S.
We lit every candle in the house, every votive, every taper, every sconce, and every pillar. By the end of the evening, we had a great blend of 'Holiday' candle mixed with 'White Linen' and 'Orange' along with Mexican food which was thankfully kept all piping hot on chafing dishes. With that little cocktail for the senses, the wine was just a bonus.
We had no heat but a roaring fire, and we asked every guest to say something positive about having a party totally by candlelight. I loved the fact that no-one could tell I didn't really have time to do my hair or put on lipstick, and my mother in law, and Hannah, thought everyone just plain looked better by candlelight.
My children thought it was the best thing ever. Maybe because they could hide in a dark corner, drink Cokes, and eat an entire box of Peppermint Bark without being seen by anyone. They've been studying the Settlers this year in History and thought it was great to get a feel for what life was like before electricity. Olivia said, "They would just light candles like we did, but I don't think they had 'Aloha Orchid' back on the prairie." She's a thinker, that one.
This morning, our power was still out and it was cold and dark in the Hill house which smelled faintly of burning logs and Chili con Queso. We reminisced about the fun party, the good food, and the crazy electricity, but we were most thankful for the amazing staff and board who have partnered with us in this ministry and who, no matter the circumstances, radiate the light of Christ wherever they go.