A Mid-winter Party

January tries to push me down every year. But having a light-filled party is one way that I push back.

You know how I feel about January. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s not my favorite.

Years ago, before twins (B.T.), it was a cold, dark January… and I decided to have a party. I invited about 10 women and I chose a tropical theme (warm!) and we had a great time.

I figured it was time to do it again.

So I invited a small group of the women I’ve had a chance to get to know since we moved here to our new city. And I planned a party.

Here’s what’s so awesome about this. (I mean, aside from the part that I’m having a party. Which is obviously awesome.) There were three things here that made my January lighter.

First, having something to look forward to. I totally get that a person needs to be content living in the moment in which she is currently residing. However. When there is something coming up that I am particularly excited about, it puts me in a much better mood in my current moment. Even when 4-year olds are screaming like banshees.

Second, having a project to work on. What food did I want to serve? How did I want to decorate? Would I have a theme? These are the kinds of questions I got to play with and plan in my head while I was sweeping the kitchen floor. Having a project to engage my brain was much better than letting it get stuck in the swirl of I’m-cold-it’s-dark-how-depressing that January is so good at encouraging.

Third, having a party! Yes, this is obviously one of the main ways this whole process made my January lighter. As I’ve mentioned before, getting together with other women and talking is one of the best ways to lift my soul. It just does.

That said. I learned a few things too. Or rather, I remembered these things that I’ve learned before and clearly forgot. Like, I should not to try to make 10 different appetizers by hand that I’ve never made before on the day of the party. Oops. (For the record, I managed to make 8 of them, with only two of them turning out to be a disaster. Six were very successful and I supplemented with two tried-and-true replacements at the last minute.)

Also, remembering to get as much done before hand so that I’m not running to 5 different stores the morning of the party while the twins are in preschool and finding out that one store closed last week and another store doesn’t carry a specific item anymore. Yep. Like I said… lessons learned (remembered).

But at the end of the day, just minutes after I got the twins in bed, (did I mention that my husband had to work late and I was on my own getting the party ready and the boys in bed?!) everything worked out for a wonderful night.

I bought white flowers (roses, mums, and freesia) and put them in glass jars all over the rooms. I also lit battery-op candles and put them around the rooms too. The appetizers were on the table. The lemon water and apple cider were on the counter. And we all gathered in my front room to eat and talk.

I asked everyone to think about and answer two questions:

  1. What is the most amazing light you’ve ever seen? (Could be natural or artificial.)
  2. What is something you do that lights you up?

We went around the room and answered and it was so fun to hear everyone’s responses. It helped me to get to know them even better!

I told about the time that lightning struck very (very!) near to our family’s tent trailer at a campground in Oregon. That was definitely an amazing light.

And I shared that our gathering together was one of the things that lights me up. And dance parties. With interpretive dancing. But that’s another post.

It was wonderful. It lit up my January. And hopefully theirs too.

What do you do to light up the cold, dark days of winter?

Winter Party IG

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