Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dang Christmas M&M's...

So.  Okay.  I teach Sunday School, right?  It used to be that there was a special ward activities committee that did all of the activities during the year, but they've done away with that.  Now, each auxiliary takes turn being in charge of activities.  And it was Sunday School's job to throw the Christmas party this year.  When we met and were trying to figure out who wanted to do what, I volunteered for decoration duty.  I did NOT want to try to coordinate the food.

Aaaaand, when they did have activities committees, my mom was her ward's activity chairperson, and I knew of a stash of stuff she bought with her own money for her activites, and then stored.  Also, she's had four daughters get married, so she's got a bunch of stuff from our receptions, as well.

So I raided her storage room and grabbed these big glass bowls and small glass vases, plus these beautiful lightey-uppey-twiggy thingeys (yes, that is the official term for them) and some cool fake flowers that look like white silver dollars.  Then I went to JoAnn Fabric during their Black Friday sale and got some fabric.  Since I was using twiggy thingeys, I wanted the fabric to be kind of woodsey/winterey.

The bishopric had one stipulation for my decor - they wanted candy scattered on the tables.  So funny.  I wanted to adhere to a really strict color decor - forest green, brown, silver, and white.  Matching my woodsey fabric.  But as I looked all around town, I wasn't finding any candy that I felt was cheap enough, yet still stuck with my color scheme.  I ended up getting Christmas-colored M&M's, which ended up totally clashing with everything else.  Hark:
Look at how bad that looks!!  Ugh!  I should have just skipped the candy scattering.  Or asked for more money so I could get candy that matched.  Gah. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

So there were a few people who showed up the night before the party to help us set up, and the Spanish branch had just finished up with their party.  They had really cute decorations for their party, but they didn't at all go with my "vision."  Yes, I had a "vision" for a ward party.  This is just how I am.  I'm persnickity when it comes to visual stuff.

The Spanish branch's theme was Presents Wrapped in Neon Colors.  And Plastic Scene of Deer and Snowmen Taped to the Wall with a Billion Little Balls of Tape.  And Neon Wrapping Doubling as Tablecloths.  All cute, but it didn't go with my Silvery/Woodsey Theme.

So this gal who was helping us set up talked to the Spanish Branch lady and then came over to talk to me.  She's like, "Hey, this lady said we could just keep her decor up!  That will really fill the gym and not make it feel so empty.  Then we'll just add our stuff."

In my mind, I was screaming, Nooooooooooooo!  This is ruining my VISION!!  But I didn't want to seem stupid.  I mean, it's a ward party, right?  No biggie.  So I let it go and said lamely, "Yeah, let's do it.  It will be fantastic."

So we worked on our centerpieces and tablecloths.  After about half an hour, this same gal who was helping with setup was looking at the gym from the stage and announced loudly, "No, no, no, no.  This is NOT going to work.  It's totally clashing.  What do you think, Karlenn?  Can we take down the Spanish Branch's stuff?"

I nearly fainted from relief.  "Yes," I said, emphatically.

She later came up to me and said, "You never wanted to use the Spanish Branch's stuff in the first place, did you?"

I sheepishly shook my head.

"Why didn't you SAY anything?"

"I just didn't want to be too persnickity."

"Yeah, this does not go with your vision at all.  I'm glad we're taking it down."

"I'm so glad you understand."

In the meantime, all of the menfolk were grumbling about having to spend time taking down perfectly good decorations.  This gal told them to stick it, that it didn't go with my vision.  And that was that.  I was grateful.

So we had thirty tables to decorate, and not enough twiggy lightey thingeys.  So I had to get a little creative with some of the tables.  Here's what I came up with for the others (and try to ignore the M&M's that totally clash with my decor):
I put pinecones in some of my mom's glass bowls - she had some brown ones (and I bought several more, because they were cheap), and then my aunt had some silver ones she had spray-painted at some point.
Then we just wrapped some garland around the glass bowls.

This is what we put in the center of the gym - my family's personal Christmas tree.  And we just decorated it with silver and white bows.  And white lights, of course.  It was understated and beautiful:
Oh, and we can't forget about the serving tables - white poinsettias in large glass vases with silver and white bows as fillers:

It was a breakfast party - breakfast casseroles, fruit, cinnamon rolls...It was a smash.  Here are some broader pics of the gym - this was before most people got there in the morning, so it looks way emptier than it ended up being:

And here is Sades and her friend, Lainey:
So I have a funny story to tell you - in our ward, we have LOTS of little kids. And their favorite thing to do at every ward party is to run around, screaming, through the gym.  I think most of the parents feel badly about it, but at the same time, are relieved to let their kids get their wiggles out.  I've gotten used to it.  It's just the way it is in our ward.

But it drives Ben CRAZY.  At one point, there were these little boys running pell-mell near our table, and Ben grabbed one of them and actually shook him by the shoulders and yelled in his face:  "STOP RUNNING!  Stop it!  Stop it! Stop it!!"

Oh my GOSH.  I was sooooooooo embarrassed.  The kid, beet red, walked away quietly, and then, when he was a few tables away, commenced running and screaming.  I gave Ben a little mini lecture on not yelling at other peoples' children, and then I went to my friend's table and hung out for awhile.  I was just so embarrassed - I had to flee for a bit.  Plus, if the parent of the kid Ben yelled at came up and yelled at Ben, I didn't want to be there.

Luckily, I think the kid forgot the incident five seconds after it happened.  Phew.


spoonTRex said...

You are so good at decorating!! I love all of your ideas! Great job!:) Mark is totally the same about kids. He would've probably done the same thing.

Lyndsay said...

You are amazing! Way to go!!! and I don't blame Ben...

Patty said...

You're so hard on yourself. Those Christmas M&Ms aren't clashing. And I'm sure people ate them all. Funny, though, that the bishopric insisted on candy on all the tables at breakfast time.
A little early, no?

Emily Empey said...

hahahahahhaa I totally remember Ben yelling at the kid!!! You escaped to my table!! haha that was hilarious!

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