I have always wanted to play out a fantasy of having a fun old-fashioned Christmas gathering. I imagined everyone dressed up and drinking holiday punch while Brenda Lee jammed out in the background. There would be mistletoe hanging everywhere and merriment alike. Unfortunately, real life is very different from my imaginary life.
I decided that December 9th was the perfect time for my party, as I planned to go home before finals. I began planning with a guest list. This was tough because beyond my core group of friends, it seems that pretty much everyone I’ve ever met is on the same level. It’s really easy to pick those first few, but once I move beyond them, I feel like I have to invite everyone. I ended up inviting about 15 people: enough to form simultaneous conversations, but not so many that it is overwhelming.
The apartment was already decorated – it had been for weeks. I hand-wrote the invitations and waited for RSVPs. I purchased a few snacks and decided to have wine spritzers in lieu of my imaginary “holiday punch.” I envisioned there being some light dancing, so I moved furniture to support a small dance area. The was a conversation corner with the TV fireplace, and the island supported the food and drink buffet. I was as ready as I was willing to be.
Though my turnout was pretty good considering December 9th was the first major snowfall of the season, the group who came was very tame. The conversation corner was well-used, and the craziest thing that happened was me trying to sled down a small hill on a cutting board. This is one of those expectations-versus-reality situations in which I set myself up for disappointment. It was a perfectly successful party, but it didn’t live up to my Hallmark-snowglobe fantasies.
At least I have the better part of a box of wine left.