A Year In Review One Month At A Time - December 2014

Social Butterflies love parties! And, love going to lunch or dinner or breakfast or just connecting with anyone at any point. You know what December is filled with? Parties and social connection opportunities!

And, presents. December has lots of presents.

This Social Butterfly likes presents almost as much as parties.

I had a super fun filled social month in December. It started with a Festivus party at my friends the Shaws' home. Michelle puts up a crazy huge holiday village in their garage. So impressive. And, so much work but clearly a labor of love.

There were lots of wee ones at the party. Normally, their shrill little voices make me avoid children but they were cool at this gig. They had a playroom to hang out in and nicely interacted with each other. Michelle and James have two daughters, the practically perfect Kate and the, well, Southern folk might say, "Bless her heart" Claire. She's something but I think she's awesome fun.

She's a character and a ginger -what a great combination!
St. Lucy's Day has become a traditional event near Dec 13. Steven, Sonja and Katie host a wheat planting event at their home and it's always a good time. This year, the #terrors displayed some aggression against my wheat so I ended up having to put it up on a shelf about seven feet off the ground. It managed to get to a decent size but I forgot to take a picture on Christmas Day - doh!

Pre-Holiday Party Lunch - new tradition?
The Arizona Parrot Head Club had their Holiday party on Dec 14. I am in an ongoing argument about whether to call it the Christmas Party or the Holiday Party. My reasoning in that we don't have an exclusive group of Christians so Holiday is more appropriate doesn't fly with the Christians. I'll leave it with that but I will always call it Holiday.

Last Men Standing

As always, there's a competition to see who can stay up for the final photo of the evening. We whittle away at the contestants and do fake out photos until the last people declare we're all truly done. This year, Barb, Thom, Phred (he's not always up for it) Tammy and I made it. I think we are all asleep within minutes of the above picture.

My Poker Chicks and I had our annual ornament exchange on the 20th. I think it was our 16th year. Everyone brings an ornament and we randomly get one back. There have been some hilariously bad/funny ornaments and some great ones. This year, I brought a glass Wonder Woman which went over pretty well.

New to the schedule this year were a couple more events. One of my colleagues and his girlfriend (now fiancee) had an Open House on Dec 23. I thought that was a genius night to do it. Most everyone is done with their holiday shopping and are now burning their last vacation days for the year. It was a lovely evening with current and former colleagues and their spouses (and a few of the more quiet children). I've been pushing for opportunities this year for my peers to build better relationships with each other and this was a good chance to do so.

Another fun and smart idea was the Open House Breakfast my friends Maria and Jeff had on Christmas Eve morning. Again, everyone is mostly done with Holiday prep and it was nice to hang out in their back yard in the beautiful Arizona weather and relax. They had lots of activities for the well behaved bazillion kids there, too.

I left the Open House then headed to a sports bar near my parents' house where The O'Malley Babes and I met for wings and beer. We started doing this last year and I think it's going to become a mainstay.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are always spent with family and long time friends. It was an especially good year as everyone was healthy for a change.

My only December disappointment is the decreasing number of cards that I get. I know lots of people just don't do cards anymore for various reasons. I love cards and spend a lot of time on picking the right one for the right people as I always buy several different versions. I really enjoy reading everyone's letters and I put all photos I get up on my fridge where I stop and stare at them throughout the year.

While there were some challenges in 2014, December was a month of great fun and I was happy to close out the year on that high point.


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