One of the biggest differences between this year and last has been the significant increase in holiday parties this time around. With new friends comes invitations, and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have a full social calendar this holiday season.
Last night was the seasonal gathering with my work BFFs. Five of us got together for dinner and a gift exchange.
The night went something like this:
5:45-6:45: Drive around Chicago with our host, picking everyone up so no one had to drive home and so everyone could drink.
7-8 PM: Appetizers, dinner, gossip.
8-9: Champagne and gift exchange. We did Secret Santas. It’s so much fun buying gifts for friends—when you know someone as well as we know each other (you learn a few things spending eight hours a day with people in a small space for three years) you can get them something you know they’ll really love. I got my Secret Santa a Young Adult book we’d been talking about recently, plus the debut album from Mark Salling aka Puck. (We really love Glee.)
I got three books I cannot wait to read (Room, Half a Life and Matched) plus a pinecone ball necklace (an inside joke referencing my general confusion regarding pinecone balls. A question for another day. But seriously, why would someone want a ball made out of pinecone?) Another friend got a collection of princess paraphernalia for our much-anticipated royal wedding viewing party. Another got a homemade calendar, and another got earrings and a jewelry holder from her favorite store.
“Why is it so much more fun to exchange gifts with friends than with family?” one coworker asked.
“Because friends actually know you!” said another. Amen.
9-11 PM: Glee Karaoke for Wii. That’s right. My voice is shot today because I sang Don’t Stop Believin’, Somebody to Love, My Life Would Suck Without You, No Air, Imagine, Leaving on a Jet Plane, True Colors, Say a Little Prayer For You, Hate on Me, Golddigger and Don’t Rain on My Parade at top volume.
“It’s really amazing you found people just like you,” my mom said when I told her about the holiday party plan. It’s true. Have a mentioned they put a lifesize High School Musical poster in my cubicle after I got married? It’s silly, ridiculous even, but it made me laugh.
And thus began my Christmas long weekend. How do you plan on celebrating the holidays with your friends? Any great gift ideas for your BFFs? (If you’re stumped may I suggest Glee Karaoke for Wii? It’s, like, seriously amazing.)
Happy Holidays to all… I’ll be taking Christmas Eve off, so see you Monday!