The Christmas Party was a success! And I had more than enough food, all served buffet style, so people had a choice of goodies to nibble on, the idea of wearing Victorian or Dickens type clothing was well received and everyone got into the Dickens Mood, including my Brother's 3 boys the "3 stoogies".
I had several artist friends show up including our "ghostly" ones, one of them brought her pastles and sketch book and easel and did quick portraits for those who wished one. Of course my Brother and his family, Marissa and her folks and her brother from college, my Policeman friend and his family, and several others, it is so interesting to bring together a group of people who have never met each other before and then get tossed into a social mix.
I had several CD's that played Christmas Music from old time Music Boxes, and kept them on rotation, no modern music last night.
Of course several areas were open for each group of people to settle into, the Formal parlor, the family parlor, dinning room, Library and of course the kitchen. And it was a "Spare the Air" night so candles in the fireplaces.
Once people had their fill and were relaxing I suggested several group games to them, the children were settled in the large entrace foyer playing Mexican Train Domino's which they enjoyed with relish, I'm glad that Marissa's Brother was the games master for them and help the two youngest which was the Officer's children, but my Brother's oldest Boy hung around the adults mostly, just taking it all in and watching Anita draw her portraits, she even did impressions of our games in the Formal Parlor, giving it a Victorian look.
I was a bit puzzeled by Steven's actions, not hostile but curious, so at one point I asked him to come help me get some more food from the kitchen and while we were there I asked him what was going on in his mind. He was at first reluctant but with gentle prodding and of course saying to him that I knew something was "perking in his brain", he admitted that he had never thought of how people from the old days use to celebrate things, and he finally was beginning to see my home as something different.
He told me that his parents house is always his parents house but for him it was a place to eat, play, sleep and do his home work, but now he was thinking. I looked at him and said "You're growing up Young Man. You still will do your Sports and be who you are but you are finally seeing beyond your nose." He also admitted that Coralline's pranks on him woke him up, and now when ever his sister complained or "got happy" about something he'd listen to what she had to say.
I said that he was beginning to think like an older brother becoming concerned about his siblings. He admitted that he didn't like growing up, but I told him all young people have to grow up, but to take in as much childhood experience as possible, to photograph it, write it down in a journal to never forget. And to work with his parents on things, "Learn as much as you can from your Dad and Mom as possible, help them out with projects or taskes, if you are with your friends and they, your friends suggest something that sounds risky or illegal or harmful, avoid that, your friends may challenge you or say you're scared but just reply that you don't want to hurt your chances for college or a good job or do anything to hurt your body or shame your folks, if your friends still challenge you then tell them they are not good friends and leave them even if they taunt you, make fun of you. Don't be afraid to tell your parents what your friends wanted you to do, it will be up to them to tell your friend's parents what they are doing. Ask your parents for advise if you have a question and never be afraid to ask questions of them or us your aunt's, if we have the answers we'll give it to you or guide you to where to look."
Then as we gathered up the serving platters I told my young, now beginning to grow up nephew to speak with Officer Roberts. "Make him a friend as well, he can tell you what is legal or illegal, but never presume on that friendship." Steven asked me what 'presume' meant and I said "There is a big dictionary in the Library look it up after we get these platters into the dinning room" He did and came back to me and said he understood.
I looked on the children as they were playing and I could see the changes from last Christmas, the girls and boys were taller and beginning to lose that "baby fat", I saw more seriousness in Marissa's brother's eyes although he was enjoying himself. I saw my oldest nephew talking to Officer Robert's deep in conversation, my brother's hair was a little thinner and grayer, so was my sister-in-law's.
Sis came up to me and said "You look very thoughtful" and I admitted I was and said "We're all growing up and growing older" and she admitted she felt the same way but at Christmas time to continue to have a certain amount of child-like wonder and enjoy life and what we are blessed with. With that I looked over at Doyle who was having a spirited conversation with Brian and Marissa's Dad and one of my artist guests.
Then I heard someone playing on the piano in the Formal parlor, I realized that it was slightly out of tune but not badly, a string here and there, the piano is an antique and it's been a few years since anyone had checked it, Sis played it occasionally but it's been a year, so I made a mental note to have it checked out but right now I was enjoying the husband of our female ghostly artist play "Girl with the Flaxen Hair" and then the "Flower Song" from Lakme, he then launched into a lively redition of several Christmas Tunes and everyone joined in singing, and laughing, he continued playing the piano softly so I turned off the CD player as he continued with some gentle Debussy, Chopin, and even Brahms, nothing intrusive.
Sometimes one does get surprised.
But then the night was late, and even though the children were out of school it was past their bedtimes, by midnight we bid the last of our guests goodnight and Sis and I put the leftovers away, and to leave the dishwashing for tomorrow, but at least with plates and cutlery that was all paper and plastic, Hmmm the garbage man is going to have a lot to take but at least my Sister's garbage can will help out.
And now with letting everyone sleep in late to day I am going to start the wash up, the cleaning service will be here in an hour. And then on to the next thing.