Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm Dreaming....

of a fabulous Christmas cocktail party.
You know the kind.
Where women wear gorgeous fancy dresses and the men are all dashing in their best suits.

The entertainer that I am, I spend my days dreaming about it. Selecting the perfect invitations. What kind of food I would serve? How I would decorate? And of course, what I would wear? I would most certainly break out my Waterford wines, highballs and rocks to serve the drinks. Bing Crosby singing the perennial Christmas favorites softly playing in the background.

The other day I mentioned this to my husband and he started laughing.
Sad, right?
Truth is, we don't know people who would be into playing "dress up" and attending a party like that.
What has happened to us all?

I was raised in a family where we all dressed up for church on Sunday and stayed in our good clothes all day. We ate dinner in the formal dining room on Sundays and used our good china. Holidays were exactly the same. In fact, we even dressed up for our elementary school pictures! Some of in which my brother is wearing a suit and I am in a fancy dresses my mother handmade.

Dinner at my grandparents homes started with cocktails and appetizers every.single.night.
I have the fondest memories of cheese and crackers, pigs in a blanket and the adults drinking Old Fashioned's or having a Tom Collins. Every single year my maternal grandparents would throw a huge New Year's Eve party. Long after I was supposed to be asleep, I would sit at the top of the staircase and watch as women went by wearing shimmering party dresses and the men were not far behind with their party blowers and hats. If I was lucky, someone would spot me there and dash up the stairs to lift me up and carry me down into the festivities.
And oh, how magical!
People were laughing, and singing....there were conversations in every corner....people were enjoying themselves. Having fun.

Today it almost seems like a novel idea.
A fantasy maybe.
I love how the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where Clark is in the attic watching the old home movie reels of his youth. 
Those are the kinds of parties and gatherings I remember from when I was young.
And I can't help but wish they still existed.

Too stressed, too tired, unwilling to drive "too far"....there are all sorts of excuses why we shouldn't and couldn't.
But if we think of the joy it will bring for those few hours...with our party blowers and hats on...drinks in hand...we might just realize that it was totally worth it.

Do you dream of gatherings like in the "good old days"?


  1. That is EXACTLY the type of party I'd love to go to. If only you weren't so far away...

  2. I fantasize about said festivities all the time. I agree that people don't think it's worth it and are content to show up in their hoodies and jeans every day of the year. We need things to look forward to and parties fall into that category.

  3. I dream of parties like that too....I love your outfit today. It's casual but sassy and pretty all at same time!! The layers work so well together.

  4. I too would love to attend such a party. An event where all the stops are pulled out and everyone puts their best foot forward.

    And my grandparents are exactly the same way -- cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before every single meal. It somehow makes everything more special, doesn't it?

  5. Funny you mention that because I would so go to a party like that.

  6. i really am beginning to think that blogging friends are the best b/c this is just how i think too. if i were to mention a party like this to most of my real life friends they'd think i was crazy. but what are we waitng for? why don't we dress up and have an elegant time of it? my dad's birthday is 12/31 so new years eve at our house every year was a big, fancy party. and like you, i loved seeing everyone dresses up. watching my mother dress was just the best. i remember lots of chiffon dresses and glitzy jewelry. those were the days. thanks for taking me down memory lane. xo janet

  7. Ladies, I just wish you all lived close by because I would throw that damn party and you would all be invited!!!

  8. LOL!! I would so come but I wouldn't really know anyone.

  9. Oh my goodness, yes. I love a good dress-up party where the focus is conversation and not being wild and/or getting drunk. (Though good drinks should be included!) I'm 31 now and the party style of people in their 20s appeals to me even less than it did when I was younger. I have a lot of friends who are still in their 20s, though, and to them "party" means "get drunk and be loud."

    This year we're hosting a Solstice party at our house, and I've specified in the invitation that guests should enjoy the opportunity to wear something a little nicer than usual (hoping they'll take the hint to try out something other than the usual jeans and t-shirts) and that they should bring a traditional winter-time drink or dish or appetizer to share, whatever "traditional" and "winter-time" mean to their family or culture. My hope is that everybody will put some thought and time into what they bring, and that their pride in their contribution and their traditions will inspire more conversation, more personal interaction, and less yelling "WOOO!!" and passing out under the Christmas tree.

    Here's hoping it works!

  10. Oh, Janet! My mom's birthday is New Year's Eve, too! It's always been an occasion to go have some nice, dressed-up fun in our family as well. All my friends have been very frustrated with me every year because I never come to their get-drunk-and-scream NYE parties. Thank goodness I have Mom for an excuse! :)

  11. Sigh, it all sounds so wonderful. I think the last time I really dressed up was for my wedding! Would totally love to have a party like that to go to.

  12. Me, too!!! I would love to enjoy a grand party like you described. At our Christmas party I always overdress and love it! If not now, when? Life's not a dress rehearsal. I was thinking of having a summer tea party and insist all the girls wear tea length dresses. But then I don't know who would come :(

  13. I can't believe I haven't seen Christmas vacation this year! I've usually seen it twice by now.


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