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Monday, December 9, 2013

Then the Cops Came

We're decking the halls and I haven't told you about the latest Thanksgiving coffee!  Baby Sister's first fall when we lived in La Grange, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my Midwestern girlfriends who'd helped make our life there so warm. Of the many gifts we've received from our nomadic life, tops is delightful friends around the world - for which we're really grateful. And so a tradition of hosting folks for ham biscuits and hot cider continues.

The best parties end with the police showing up, right? What if they showed up ahead of the guests? Never a dull moment here.

There I was in the predawn darkness doing party prep. This is my most productive time of day and I know I'm not alone. I left a meeting once with a dear friend late one evening. She cheerfully announced she was going home to paint a bathroom. Husband on travel, kids asleep. I hear ya.

And speaking of husbands on travel, you should know had mine been home the morning of my coffee I probably wouldn't have asked the police to help me ferret out unwanted vermin. Busy whirring around, icing cookies, firing up the coffee and cider urns and pretending to be those busy little woodland creatures from the movies, I could tell I wasn't alone. I would have put another set of hands to use, but I heard claws. I know the sounds of our house and 4 children sleeping. None of them involve scratching. Imagining a house full of small children and fancy new lady friends combined with a trapped raccoon (I considered bats or birds but I'm telling you I heard the thumping of a tail and claws. Ew.), I enlisted the help from the local finest.

The most memorable bit of the day for the boys surely was waking to the sound of walkie talkies and policemen scouring the house for an animal that turns out was making lots of noise under the house. A raucous vermin issue behind us, I offered Belle Meade's best first dibs on the buffet and hurried everyone out the door.

Almost time for friends to arrive. Baby Sister and her school friends didn't have school on party day so the house was filled with big and small friends who made themselves right at home. Most were friends we've met through school and a few friends we've made at parks and picnics came, too. Much to my great delight and continued proof of how close knit Nashvillians are, many of them knew each other. A warm house filled with laughter and friendship with some of the nicest new friends. I kept thinking of my Virginia, La Grange and London girlfriends and how much they'd really love my new friends - their Southern charm, wit and graciousness. There may be a few translation issues and we'd surely have to ask the Nashvillians to slow down, but what a great party it would be to have them altogether. Someday!

But onto the food and decor. Did I tell you this already? We used our sticks to jot notes about that for which we are thankful. Friends added fullness to the branches.

 Table full of treats.

Every year I ask guests to bring a pre-loved sweater (jumper if you will) for a donation. No one wants at arrive to a party empty-handed and it starts the season of giving in the warmest way. And don't spend another dime on a chalkboard. Use black card stock or poster board and white paint pen!

The little "Come On In" sign tucked into the wreath is card stock and pen again. Easy peasy.

You're not leaving my house without a favor if I can help it. This year's was a repeat of a previous one (there has to be some benefit from all this moving. At least I eek out a little efficiency from it.) A tea bag wrapped in burlap.

Good parties require a little DIY. I'll have to tell you later about the dining room revamp this party inspired.

A new city and another new house filled with new friends and yummy leftovers. The first party of the holidays behind us and good cheer all around! Giving lots and lots of thanks.

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