The Latest from Lola's Diner

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was the best Christmas Party you ever attended or hosted?

One of the replies to one of my Christmas traditions posts made me realize that posting these has helped me reminisce and is really helping me get into the Christmas spirit. I hope it’s giving you all a chance to get into the Christmas spirit too!

Today’s questions is:

What was the best Christmas party you ever either attended or hosted?

And yes, I’d love to hear your drunken office party stories too. Lol!

I have to cheat and share 2 Christmas party stories. Hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want.

The best Christmas party I ever hosted bk (before kids) was a potluck “theme” party. The theme was childhood favorites. I think this was the best idea for a party I ever had, and the most successful party I hosted. My contribution to the party was a baked ham, homemade split pea soup and homemade apple pie. One guest made the most delicious, incredibly fattening, wonderful, homemade Macaroni and Cheese. The most notable contribution though was Fluffernutter Sandwiches. I thought these things were nasty sweet, but in terms of following the theme, they were definitely the winner.

The best Christmas party ak (after kids) was the year of my son’s first Christmas, my daughter was 1 ½ years old. First a little history on that year’s Christmas. I was living in Chicago at the time and decided to bundle up both kids and head to Marshall Fields on State Street to visit Santa. First off, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Dragging two little ones on your own all the way downtown isn’t the greatest of plans, but I was determined to have their pictures taken with Marshall Fields' Santa. Thankfully the line wasn’t very long and we made our way up to Santa and the Elf photographer fairly quickly. Finally it was our turn. My daughter was first. Santa didn’t even bother to chat, the elf parked her on his knee and went back and snapped the picture. No "and what do you want for Christmas" or "have you been a good little girl". Same thing with my son, park him on Santa's lap, shoot the picture. No coochie coo, no waving a stuffed animal to get his attention, just snap, grab him off Santa’s lap and pass him back to me.

When I got the photo packages I ordered I was furious at having spent a ridiculous sum of money for crappy, hastily snapped photos. It was not the 'memory' I expected after having plunking down that much hard earned cash. After we got home the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I decided to write a letter to the head of Marshall Fields Public Relations Department. I even called to find out the person's name. I figured if nothing else it would be an exercise that would allow me to vent. About a week later, to my surprise I got a phone call from someone from their Public Relations Department. The Marshall Fields rep apologized profusely for my bad experience and they wanted to make it right. They offered to send their best Santa (aka Mr. O’Riley) to our apartment so my kids could have a personal visit with him and we could take as many photos as we wanted. As luck would have it, we were having a holiday party that Saturday. They juggled Santa’s schedule and promised to have him stop by during the party. They also refunded the money I spent on the photo packages.

When guests started arriving at our holiday party that night we told them we ‘might’ have a surprise visitor. Everyone thought that meant that my husband (now ex-husband) would be ‘disappearing’ while Santa made his appearance. Boy were they surprised when Santa showed up and my ex-husband walked in right behind Santa. Santa gave our kids stockings filled with goodies and gave us mugs filled with candies. Santa had every child (and every adult that wanted to) sit on his lap and talked and laughed with each and every one. Santa let us take as many pictures as we wanted to. Everyone had a really good laugh when Grandma sat on Santa’s lap. The picture below is the only photo I could find tonight. I know I have more. If I can find them Sunday I will post more.
Marshall Fields was the best, truly. It’s really sad they no longer exist.

That's Santa and my daughter. She's still a cutie!


Angelika said...

I've only been to one Christmas party in my life.

It was at a former job. As I was between BFs, I took a female friend.

Everyone looked at us like we were lesbians (this is the DEEP south) and at her like she was crazy because she kept feeling the carpet (She worked for a company that makes carpet...).

My boss got extremely drunk, and I lost any respect that I'd had for her at the point. (Wasn't much to begin with anyway.)

I'm not a "party" person anyway, but that party was enough to last me for the rest of my life, LOL.

Lola said...


I'm sure your friend was admiring the carpet as a way of trying to think of something other than how uncomfortable she felt. There's really nothing worse than being starred at and whispered about. I don’t understand how people can be so incredibly rude.

Positively the worst holiday party I went to I attended with my previous partner. I wasn't 'out' at work, it was my first lesbian relationship and I guess I was very naive to think that 2 women could attend a work holiday party without everyone pointing and whispering. It just never occurred to me that they would “assume” we were lesbians and be so incredibly rude about it.

It wasn't like we were being overtly 'lesbian'. In fact, we didn't even hold hands. It was just that my partner happened to be what they call a ‘100 footer’. (You can tell from 100 feet away, she's a lesbian.) I’ve never been made to feel so uncomfortable in my life. In fact we went out for a cigarette (I didn’t even smoke at the time) during the awards ceremony to discuss it and decided we’d had enough and went back to our hotel room. I was so angry that the following Monday when my gossipy co-worker approached me I just blurted it out. It wasn’t too long after that I found myself laid-off. Ever since then I have made it a practice to be ‘out’ from day one.

The thing is, not everyone is rude and assumes the lesbian thing about 2 women attending a gathering. My current partner and I have gone to many family functions (distant relative funerals, reunions) where people have just assumed we were best friends. They were surprised to find out we were partners, but never ever rude about it. Just very accepting.

I guess people can surprise you. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

Take care.

Michelle said...

Now these are some great Christmas stories. I love the one about Santa coming to your home. What a great gift for Christmas. I bet your kids will never forget that one. Thanks for sharing.

Babette said...

It would have to be the family Christmas party we had with relatives every year when I was a kid. It was always in our house and one year we decided to make it a Christmas costume party. My cousins and I had fun dressing up. We also have games and stuff for kids of all ages. :o) Thanks for this questions, it brings back great memories.

Lola said...


You're quite welcome. My kids were too little to remember. They do enjoy the pictures though.


You're quite welcome also. I'm really enjoying reminiscing. It's really helping me get in the holiday spirit.

A Christmas costume party sounds like it would be a lot of fun.

Da Old Man said...

I enjoy reading about other parties. All I ever attended were family ones, or really bad office parties. I worked in a collection dept of a major retailer, and we had a party on Christmas Eve. They gave us an hour to eat, then told us to get back on the phone to demand customers get out and pay their bills.
Couldn't have been more depressing.

Lola said...

Da Old Man,

That's sad, but typical. At least they served you lunch.

Lola's Diner Was recently updated by by copyright 2009 ©