I am feeling so in the Holiday Spirit after last night's festivities. It all came together and became more than I ever expected, more than one could imagine. On this morning, I am so in love with my friends and the lives we are creating with and for each other
So, a few weeks ago we decided to arrange a gift exchange with the only caveat being that we make what we give.
There were a few jitters and the possibility that my usually destroyed home might not be ready to house all of us, but we are charged ahead and trusted in the fact that what we were doing came from a good place, so even if the recipient was not a close friend, they would be loving their gift because it was made for them.
Anyway, let us start with the food.
We each made an appetizer and brought it to the table. Cuban empanadas, bacon wrapped shrimp, the requisite spinach dip, a delicious artichoke dip (recipe to follow) and our family secret, Indonesian lumpia.
What are lumpia, you ask? They are the singular most delicious feast food ever. A bit like an eggroll, but not at all. Filled with vegetables and lightly seasoned meat, fried in delicate wrappers and consumed with a passion you have never seen. We made 200 or so and every single one disappeared rapidly. I always swear to eat only 3 or 4 and end up losing count around 10. It is a good thing we only make them once a year or I would roll places, not walk.
So, the night was beautiful and well fed and gathered and then we got down to the business of giving. I am still in a bit of shock by how moved and excited I was by the things that emerged from their pretty packaging. We rocked the giving this year, all with beautiful expressions that came form our hearts, not from a store or box. Things pieced and painted, knitted and crocheted, sewn and arranged. Things brought forth from inside to be given to another. I feel giddy just writing it.
The montage does not do the gifts true justice, but they are all there. I was unbelivably moved by my gift from Jenn. She took quotes from my past posting and wrote them on a frame with pictures of the boys. I cried. I just could not help it...the words are so powerful. And it was all like that. So, you know we have a new tradition to look forward to year after year, I know new women will join, maybe some will leave due to circumstances and the like. But I love knowing come next year, in this sacred place we call Home, there will be joy and generosity and creativity and food. Ah, the food.
What a wonderful way to begin a week of celebration and family.
I am deeply and truly honored to call you friend all : Alicia, Kate, Kim, Jenn, Courtney, Cristina, Veronica, Jeanette,and Mom. I love you all. And Ana, I know you were busy making something else,
But next year we are gonna sew something fierce to give, right?
Something for this kid for sure. I love the D, here he is repurposing some table top decorations. Truly the son of a crafter.
And on a hilarious twisty end to the gift giving. I have this friend Mike.
He is our bestest of friends, the reason Tim and I came together, actually. He was very intrigued and a little resentful of the fact that he was not included in the gift exchange. He is a very handy lad, carpenter and carver by trade. Well, he called a day before the party and asked me to come approve a little something he was making up for the ladies.
He spent 4 hours in his back room, secreted away, hard at work like a little elf. But he felt he should check with the hostess before he crashed the party. And I giggled every time I thought of the giving. Because he made us each a little ornament to take home. Here it is waiting on its presentation. Look a bit closer, won't you?
Are you laughing. We sure did. Thanks, Mikey, you can play with us anytime. And thanks Katie, your man is the best.
Now, onward ho. I am bubbling with the joy of it all. If you would like to see the gifts up close the Flickr set is here. Happy holidays, people. Wish all my blog friends could be there next year. The invite is open.