Tonight I sent an email to my 3 siblings that has left me a little sad. I made something official that-although we are all in agreement on-feels like a surrender of sorts.
We will not be throwing our annual Saunders Christmas Party this year.
We've been co-hosting this event with the support and generous hospitality of our parents for 15 years. Well, this would have been the 15th year, anyway.
There are a handful of reasons why it doesn't make sense for us to have it anymore - one of them being the fact that Joanne will still be in New Zealand next month. In fact, she likely won't be home until next Fall, but that's a whole 'nother bag of beans.
It's actually been a bit of a feat to pull off for the last few years, and Jill has been wanting to throw in the towel on it for some time. She's graciously gone along with it and helped in every aspect, though, for which I am grateful. John's familial obligations have dwarfed his involvement in party prep for a few years now, but he's always come through (with coolers, driveway lighting, extra bins for trash & recycling, and usually way too much beer & alcohol) on the morning of the party.
Between the four of us, our guest list has swelled into the triple digits and at this point, the guests' ages span four generations.
I have looked forward to seeing familiar faces each year, and I am almost positive that I've met someone new every year, too. Last year we raised our glasses to toast the engagement of a couple who met at our Christmas party only a couple of years before.
We've popped bottles of champagne and had Beirut tournaments.
We've run out of food & ordered pizzas.
We've had fires in the fireplace and put floating candles in the pool.
We've served Skippy and Puppy Chow.
I've worn heels some years and slippers other years.
Each year we collected donations for Sacred Heart Services.
I guess I could go on and on. I just wanted to acknowledge the end of an era of sorts. It had to happen sometime, I suppose, and life will go on just fine. But, I'll miss it.
And we never got around to executing Joanne's idea of wearing really bad Christmas sweaters!