Monday, November 26, 2007

2nd Annual Williams Family Ornament Party

I've alluded to Peter Pan before, so I might as well make a habit of it. I adored that movie as a kid. I especially liked the beginning when Mr. and Mrs. Darling were getting all gussied up to go to a party. Yes, Mr. Darling was a bumbling stress case, but Mrs. Darling was always so lovely. I always thought that there was something very romantic and wonderful about parents going off to a fancy party or social. During my growing up years that's how the Randle Christmas Party seemed to me. Its really the only grown-up party that I remember my parents going to (except for faculty meeting which I found out when I became a teacher is a really dull get together that could only very loosely be defined as any sort of party--a boring party maybe?) So, in my growing up years my parents would spend weeks inventing and creating handmade and unique Christmas ornaments to take to the Randle's party. They would make a yummy grown-up appetizer and would go off to the party only to return hours later with other people's way cool handmade ornaments while we all ooohed and aaahed over the descriptions of the goings on. I remember being amazed when I was 7 and at the height of my "Saturdays Warrior" obsession to hear that my mother actually had recieved an ornament created by Marvin Payne. Yes, my friends, the dad from "Saturdays Warrior."

In my adulthood I am still excited each year as my parents create their ornaments and then exchange them for other cool ornaments. My siblings have been as well. So, last year we decided to throw a similar party for our family. Every member (including my niece Madison and nephews Taylor, Lincoln, and Asher) creates an ornament and keeps it secret until the party when we take turns opening and stealing ornaments from each other until the game is complete. This year was our second annual ornament party there were some really fantastic ornaments and here they are:

Mom made this amazing angel complete with a photograph of her face from the May-Day Dance festival at Maeser Elementary School in the 60's. The halo is from an acorn found on BYU campus, the body is driftwood and the wings are tin. Madison got mom's.
Taylor and Madison made these beautiful snowflakes with clear beads. Very intricate--especially for kids! We got to keep Taylors.
Lincoln's was one of my very favorites, he wrapped green ribbon and raspberry pom pom trim around a styrofoam ball and stuck it in with pretty pins. Creative. Taylor nabbed this one from me near the end of the game!
Joel's ornament was a gourd that he had carved a diamond design into and embellished with different textures. He then used shoe polish to polish it up and darken different parts of it. We got to keep this one and were way excited about it!
Dan made this beauty out of an antique mason jar lid he found during a dig at work. The flower thing is from our 70's chandelier in our apartment that suddenly fell and shattered one night. The hook was also found at a dig and the beads and wire were a nice touch. My mom got Dan's.
Courtney made this cool angel. Click on the picture so that you can see the detail on it. She made the pattern herself and sewed on the coolest old buttons. Fantastic. Dad chose Courtney's.
We have an old "radio show" that we made and taped when we were kids where Cam told a knock knock joke. The punchline was "orange you glad you're a nugget bunny?" It doesn't make sense. We know. But that hilariously dumb joke became the inspiration for Beth's great ornament here. She made the yarn pom-poms herself and created the most adorable bunny wearing a muffin cup skirt. Since it was Cam that inspired it, he was way excited to keep this one.
As always, Dad made an amazing Santa Claus carving. I love the nose and beard it reminds me of the drawing of Moses that he drew on the chalkboard when he taught my Sunday School class when I was 9. I love how he painted the face as well with those rosy cheeks. I don't remember who got Dad's ornament but I think it was Courtney.
I had been thinking of making a little garland for a year or two so I made a smaller version for the ornament party this year. This one also has family ties because every year Grandma Williams puts up a "bah humbug" banner that dad made decades ago. The backs of the tags are even cuter than the fronts. I was pretty proud of it. The beads are from Aunt Sue! Matt got this one.

I'm missing pictures of Cam, Matt, and Asher's ornaments. Cute Asher made a cool one the same way Lincoln did, but he couldn't bear to lose it so he held it on his lap the whole time. Matt made a cool beaded one with wire that was twisted in cool shapes. Cam made another one out of clay using an exacto knife to cut it. It was another family joke about Joel and Clorox wipes. Clay must be Cam's medium, he's really good at it. He must get it from his aunt Marie.


eRiCa said...

such a wonderful tradition! we do ornament exchange parties here as well with the other students, but i'll have to do the family thing...that's such a great idea. and the ornaments are sooo awesome! thanks so much for of my favorite posts of the day!

Tiffany said...

What a neat idea Megs! I loved the homemade ornaments! They were all so creative!

Macbeth Bunch said...

Woah I'm glad that I'm not invited to this gathering. I can just imagine everyone's horror as I pass out my hideous tin foil man and receive these "out-of-control" gorgeous ornaments. Gosh the preschoolers ornaments would blow mine out of the water!!

Ohio Rasmussens said...

So cool!!! Tell us more about this party! What are the rules? How do you exchange? What do the invites look like? This year is too busy, but I love parties!! This would be fun for the future! Do tell!!
Love, Kirsten

Emily Ramussen said...

You guys always have such fun traditions! You have inspired me to try and be more "traditiony" this year(and if they hold) all my Christmases to come! :0)

Ginna said...

oh how fun!! That makes me completely and totally homesick. I love that you've carried the tradition on.
Maybe someday when my life settles down a little I can do it to....
All the ornaments are so adorable. I'm so glad we got to see them!

K said...

Okay - after I catch my breath at the wonder of these ornaments, I will tell you the story of this party: once upon a time, when I went home for Christmas from college one year, I found this wonderful and completely unfamiliar ornament on my parent's tree. It was a snowflake make out of crossed Popsicle sticks, painted red and anointed with glitter—pretty darned unimpressive till you looked at the back. On the back was written in nail polish: WRONG SIDE. TURN THIS SIDE TOWARD TREE.

Turns out that while my dad was Bishop, he and mom had this party where the bishopric and some of the auxiliary leaders got together and did this ornament game— had to be hand made. My dad and mom, both crafty people, would make cool stuff, as did some of the others. But most of the things were pretty simple - like the simple red glass ball with the word "love" written on it in glitter glue. My dad pointed at that one proudly and said, "The woman who made this has the greatest heart in the world - this is just like her."

So when Guy and I got married, I started my own version of that party. The first party had Hoffmans, Tricia, Paynes, Williams, Kews, Phil and Rosemary Smith and Louks and a few others, all our best friends back then.

The deal was this: bring a bunch of your favorite Christmas cookies (my mom always made the same four kinds, and I kindof thought everybody had traditional cookies as part of their Christmas - found out I was wrong). We served milk for the cookies. And each person had to bring a hand-made ornament.

We've been having this party for almost thirty years now. The rules shift around, but basically, it goes like this: bring the ornaments wrapped. We all draw numbers. Number one goes first and picks a package. Number two can either steal #1's or open a new package. And thus it goes through all the numbers. The third owner actually keeps their ornament - nobody can steal it after that. We tried 4th owner, but it wore everybody out. The person with number 1 gets to choose from everybody who isn't a third owner at the very end, or end the game by opening the last package.

We have people who try to manipulate the game by hiding a good ornament, or by crying so nobody will take theirs - or by bringing the most outrageous things - Dick Beeson being the king of this behavior. One year, he brought a bowling ball with this cool cork fixed on the top of it, a gigantic cork attached to the top - looked EXACTLY like a Christmas tree ball - except it weighed thirty pounds.

the person who won it, hid the thing in my house so he wouldn't have to take it home. In the end, Joel wanted it, took it home, made it a bowling ball again and won a game with it.

We have so loved this party. Seeing you guys do this just makes me amazed and joyful. And the ornaments were fabulous. I want ALL of them. I don't know - I feel like their grandmother or something -

Hillary said...

Hi Meg- Wanted to say hi you have such a cute little family. I would love to hear from you, email me sometime

The Tuck Family said...

How fun! I love family traditions like that...the ornamens are gorgeous by the way! It was fun to see you and Maggie last night, sorry I didn't get the chance to talk to you very much, it was a bad Ashlen night. Anyway...I am tagging you for 7 things, go to my blog to see what I mean, it's actually kinda fun!

The Tuck Family said...

Good thing I know how to spell ornaments!

Rachel said...

Hi Megs, Do you care if I sneak a peek every once in awhile at your blog? This blog thing is quite fun.

The ornaments are AMAZING! I am with Kristen. I want them all!

Brian teases me about all of the "traditions" I have to have. This is a great tradition and I love how you've done it with the children as well. How fun for everyone!


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