Friday, December 19, 2008

You Better Be Good!

I know what hell looks like!

And having seen it, I am very motivated to clean up my act and start obeying as many commandments as possible. And I'll give you a glimpse. If you aren't good, you are going to the kingdom of ETERNAL WARD FAMILY CHRISTMAS PARTIES!

You will be damned to a giant cultural hall with warm lime/pineapple jello and cold green beans......unrecognizable dishes from strangers who have cats that walk on the counter........... rows and rows of scarred church tables covered with wet paper tables cloths and tipped over water glasses.........with parents cheerfully chatting and children all hopped up on the promise of Santa, taking off their shoes and running and sliding on the slippery floor........with a skinny Santa and mass chaos!

Can you be afraid of ward parties? I'm not afraid of ward parties pre se. I'm only afraid of Ward FAMILY Christmas Parties. I hate ward Christmas parties that include children. I know, I know. I'm evil. Christmas is about children and Jesus and giving and children and charity and children. I just don't like them - the parties with children.

Have you been to a Ward FAMILY Christmas Party? Maybe it's just my experience. But here is what I see -

Okay, okay, I'm taking a deep breath. I'll list my fears.....get em out there and then move on.

*Christmas sweaters
*Silverware out of the drawer from THAT kitchen - all church kitchens are filthy *Unknown foods glopped in bowls
*People tasting food at the serving table
*Children putting their fingers in the jello
*Sugar water punch
*Children going through the buffet line unaccompanied and taking ALL the olives and six desserts
*Oblivious adults - Wife: "Honey, will you watch the kids?" Husband: "We have kids?" Wife: "Seriously sweetie, could you serve them their dinner? I haven't gotten out of the house since Wednesday night enrichment and girls night out last night so can you watch them for a minute?" Husband: "Oh yeah. Sure. I'll be right back." She talks to her friends that she just got off the phone talking to 10 minutes before they came to the party and he is standing in a cluster with his friends planning one last basketball game for 10 pm on December 24th. There is mayhem in the cultural hall as children throw dinner rolls, crawl under tables with slices of ham, lick the frosting off their cake and then leave the plate in the middle of the floor..........I'm hyperventilating again.

I can't do it!
I'm making enchiladas so I have to go.
I think I can do it.

But I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm setting goals. I'm going to be more Christlike so I don't go to eternal ward party hell. And the first Christlike quality I will strive to develop is...................CHARITY!


missty said...

Oh Gina, we have the same fears and phobias! THAT is why i always take a main dish, so my family can eat what I brought. And then I ask a few friends what they brought, or the wierd cat lady what she brought to stay away from. I use to guard my children. and Matt and I stick together and I make comments, Oh that has coconut in it, you don't like that, or here is your favorite green beans, make sure to get some. lol

As the kids got older, we skipped out of all church Family dinners - and go out to eat as a family! Much better!! lol I would rather be in hell than deal with gross food or bratty kids. lol

Stacy said...

I am soooo with you on this one. I've never understood why parents think that a ward party is a time to ignore their children completely while said children run willy-nilly all over the building. I left our ward family Christmas party early--after the 30-minute late dinner and before the service project. I'm so bad.

Melissa said...

Funny--I didn't see you there last night. And maybe I was too stressed out because I was in charge of the program, but I didn't see ANY of what you described! And there was no jello, so that was taken care of right from the get-go. There were kids running around waiting for Santa, but other than that, I thought the party was quite low-key and under control. You better print a retraction! Or at least say that our party last night was nothing like you described! (Unless, like I say, I was oblivious. But I agree with you about parents just letting their kids run around the cultural hall. That really bugs me, too. And if I ask them to stop, they just ignore me).

Melissa said...

Oh, and by the way, the original plan was to have an ADULTS ONLY party, but we (the activities committee) got overruled by higher powers.

Guymons said...

oh i HAVE to comment on this one!!!! Our ward party is tonight, but tonight is the ward FAMILY Christmas party. We are going to miss it because we get to go get Melanee at the airport! YAY. But our ward FAMILY Christmas party is havig beef stew and macaroni and cheese for the main dishes. YUCK. It's a potluck, so I guess the ward activities budget is gone. No one ever watches their kids at our family Christmas parties, either. In fact, sometimes there are tables full of kids sitting at kids tables with their friends, no adults....that's not a "family" party. Our Santa always takes about 5 minutes with each kid, so the line takes FOREVER. Then there is the mens quartet that sings numerous carols, the piano prodegies who play numerous carols, and OF COURSE the Primary Manger Scene, where a few kids always feel left out and the same few always get the "staring"roles. One year, it was advertised as the Ward Family Christmas party and it started at 6:30. The sign said to bring a dessert, but it didn't say that it WASN'T a dinner, so MOST everyone came, without eating dinner beforehand (started at 6:30!) and then we had to sit through the singing, story telling, manger scene, piano music, bishops thoughts, then after at least an hour they let the kids have the dessert buffet, which had been sitting there, getting more attention than the "show" up front.
I'm like you....I love the adult only dinners with the tri tip, potatoes, salad, rolls, quiet conversation and NO kids. We have older kids who can stay home and watch the younger kids, and most young families have a hard time getting babysitters (I guess), and we are a "family" church, so I guess we need to include them, but the adult only party (Which our ward hasn't had for YEARS) is so much nicer- fine china, nice decorations, not so many people, quieter (I have hearing loss, so the noise of the family parties always is tooooo loud with my hearing aid on)....the list could go on---just wanted to say that I loved your post!!!!!!!!

valerie said...

Oh LOL! Our ward party was last night and we always find out who is bringing what. Good thing the main dish was cooked by an actual cook so we knew we could at least survive on that. The YW were in charge of decorating the tables and me, my counsler and one other YW worked our buts off for some kids to fling the tree branches all over with needles flying who knows where (inspect your food carefully!) Yeah, it was a real joy! @@ Can't wait for next year! (insert much sarcasm here)