I love the holidays. It means squeezing in that extra activity with friends to see them before the end of the year. It means decorating like mad to make your house feel warm and inviting. It means blending both of those into Gingerbread Parcel Design and Construction Contests! This contest is everything that I love about the holidays…creativity, candy, friends, alcohol, entertaining, decorating, Christmas music, concentration, candles glowing, laughter. All that good stuff.
This year’s party was no different. Our third year throwing such an occasion was a hit; I’ll write more about the masterpieces later. There are so many reasons I look forward to this day every year. I get to spend MY Christmas with my Chosen Family entertaining and being creative. These are the people that mean so much to me and the only way I know how to thank them is invite them over to our house and ask them to make a mess. Yeah, this one’s on me, kids.
Since our house is smaller than years past, we were not able to invite everyone. It was a very tight squeeze last night, with people building all over the place. I am sorry to all my friends that were not able to join us, especially Subsidized Corn because they were performing!! I must really love Gingerbread night because to miss a performance is a big deal to me.
Although this party practically runs itself, we always depend a lot on our Chosen Family to make it happen. Corby mixed the icing like a champ and Felice decorated our Christmas tree and banister. I got the graham crackers and Corey took care of the booze. Easy, peasy. Everyone is so helpful putting out candies and cleaning up after themselves.
Basically, this is how it works: I get home late and Corey and Corby are well into a necessary project. I change clothes then start running central command. Corey asks how he can help and takes direction very well (yet another reason he’s the best roommate ever). People start to arrive and they get drinks and assist with small tasks (for anyone who has been to any Cummings party, you know if you just stand still you’ll get an assigned task eventually). Once everything is in place, we begin. It gets quiet and you can actually hear Channel 433 “Sounds of the Season” coming from the tv. People spread all over the room on the floor and in every available chair and start whispering and sketches come out. Laughter from one corner, wine spillage in another. About an hour and a half later, we start to clear the table so we can put our masterpieces on display.
It always looks amazing. People tell the story of what they’ve created. This year we had a Southern Mansion, Cabin in the Woods, Falling Water, Dwell Magazine Spread, Corby’s Burning House, a recreation of the house that someone actually lives in and a Smithsonian Museum turned Hershey’s factory turned office park. Pretty amazing stuff. Then we vote using red hots. We clean a bit then the fun begins.
Out comes video of Corey and me playing Just Dance 2. We don’t mind being laughed at…we’re amongst family. The wii gets turned on and the dancing doesn’t stop until 1:30 a.m. It’s just that fun. (No, the video below is not Corey doing Just Dance 2, unfortunately. It’s hilarious though and thought I would share.)
I love my house, but I love it even more when my friends and Chosen Family are inside. My Chosen Family are the people that I choose to spend my time with and attention to, and they do the same in return. My “Cabin in the Woods Plus” group. They are usually the loud ones at the party, making things so much fun. They arrive early to help and they leave late because they feel at home. They get upset when a family member breaks their favorite wine glasses, then forgives because that’s what you do (then gets really happy when another family member points out that it was a different wine glass). They don’t get upset when wine is spilled on the rug. They pick on each other and make fun, and you know they don’t really mean it. They would have your back in a swift minute if any outsider started to do the same…and they’ll laugh like hell at your ex only after he or she is your ex. They guide you through the tough times and listen to more of your boring stories than they want to, but that’s what families do. Families hug, families get excited when you are with them, and families laugh together. That’s what I do with my Chosen Family. Rather, that’s what WE do together. And happily, our family just gets larger and larger so we can continue to spread that love to others.
Yeah, I’m a little sad that Gingerbread Night 2010 is done for the year, but there is always next year. It almost feels like Christmas is over! But I know there are at least two more weeks to show off our massive tree and spend time with my friends before I get to be with my real family, which also happens to be getting larger and larger, too.