Wow! This year's event just blew my mind. Not entirely sure why, but we had double the folks we had last year ... RL, roommate and co-host, figure around 90 people. And the food ... it was a tsunami of food that literally blew us out of the kitchen. It is so hard to predict how much food will arrive ... but lots of good food is clearly the preferred approach. We have already made some commitments on adjustments to handle the food better next year ... a helper, some additional table space, and we will finally get it together on the garage and recycling bin front.
But all that, no matter how fabulous, pales beside the deeper joy that I find in this event. Those six hours are a sublime transport for me from everyday life. We labor greatly to make our home into the Christmas fantasy, and all our wonderful friends bring that fantasy to life through their camaraderie and joy. Christmas for me is about the thoughts and fears about renewal that the solstice inspires, and it is about gathering against the gloom of the seasonal darkness into the light which human beings create together. Christmas is artifice in the best human sense ... making light and merry no matter the cold and dark which nature provides.
So now a few more days until the day itself when we gather to eat and celebrate and love each other. And then 10 more days of living in the Christmas house before we return to the long year and all our struggles and endeavors, refreshed and invigorated by sharing something essentially human ... gathering and hoping and rejoicing together.
Photo by Arod of last year's Christmas tree. I will have photos of this year's decorations a little later. I have a Flickr site of photos of attendees; if you know me, drop me a note and I will send you a guest pass.