Monday, December 3, 2018

For the past several years

 I’ve wanted to have a little wreath making party the first weekend in December… 
But time, y’all.
It gets away from us all, doesn’t it? 
Fast forward to 2018 and Jen Schmidt’s book – JUST OPEN THE DOOR – 
all about hospitality [which I love, and believe I’m gifted in, but let’s be honest, haven’t been practicing as much these past few fast-paced years] 
and the fact that I was asked to 
based on the book – 
And well… it’s time to practice what I preach, right? HA.
Plus I do love a good gathering of friends.
So I just went for it – invited about 30+ people to come over and create [natural] wreaths together. Whoa. Thirty? Yes. - 
We all know only about half respond and are able to attend
... despite giving a few weeks heads up – that’s just life folks. 
Plus… where do you cut off the friend list? 
[And still, I forgot some…so sorry]
I’d really planned for this little soiree to be held in our cute back yard area with tables and decorations and eating outdoors in the 60 degree southern winter weather we enjoy, but
And, in the end... rain did not fall during the entire gathering. 
Thank you Lord!
At first I thought I’d try to  BRING IT ALL INSIDE… 
Then my sweetheart came home with a truck load of fir  / spruce cuttings…
And what a mess anyway…
So we cleaned off the carport at the last minute and set it up out there…

Let me just give kudos to my sweet husband 
who always help make my ideas happen!
He’s helped me set up, clean up and forage and gather for the past couple of weeks…
Here’s how it all ‘went down’ as the millennial newscasters would say… 
[and that drives me CrAzY by the way – ]
We, and by we, I mean mostly my sweetheart, started a week or so before the date… 
I gathered pinecones from the yard that were closed tightly against the fall rains
and put them in the oven [200 – 250*] to warm and wake them up 
[plus it killed the critters – ha.] 
Next, while we were at brother’s house during Thanksgiving we notice his Leland Cypress might need a trim and he was ALL ABOUT letting Craig do the trimming. 
[Seriously – he was gracious enough to let us take all we wanted.] 
While out and about during Thanksgiving weekend we gleaned cotton 
from one of the many fields in our area that already been picked… 
My dentist quickly agreed that I could cut all the holly I wanted from his landscape [we only cut from the area next to the building so it wouldn’t cause an eyesore – ha.] 
Then I trimmed some boxwood in our yard and my sweetheart cut down a small cedar tree someone wanted to get rid of; and lastly, he visited a local Christmas tree lot who kindly gave us a few [???] scraps of spruce – LOL.
Next came the arranging [and re-arranging – and RE-arranging, if only in my mind.] 
And I used the planner sheet I shared a few days back…
As I said, we ended up on our little carport – and the plus of that was that I quickly decorated Lottie a bit for a cute back drop.
Frosty welcomed everyone to the area 
as he kept watch over the Christmas tree cuttings…
Oh. My.
The cedar and cypress were on a table ready to go…
with tables were out for friends to work on.
And everyone quickly got to work!
I provided greenery, wire, some decorations, [and guidance. HA.]
Guests brought their own wreath form, clippers, gloves 
and things they wanted to share, as well as use on their own wreaths.

It was a wonderful way to spend a dreary rainy afternoon!

I loved honoring my sweet mama as I shared how she taught me 
to make the big fluffy bows she made each Christmas!
And you'll see in a minute that everyone did a great job!
I had coffee, water, and that sinful hot [crockpot] cocoa that’s all over the internet this time of year. We also had tomato basil soup and chicken vegetable soup as well as brownie brittle [ha] and good ole southern chess cake [Paula Dean calls it gooey bars]…

I create the Invite, scanned it in, and sent it out via text groups – 
and again, sorry I missed some of you. 
[I’m already planning for next year and 
looking for a bigger location that might work, rain or shine…]
I think a little decorations always add to the festivities so I pulled some tables ‘round and added a few things here and there. 
Can you believe this table actually came out of someone's trash?
[We've had the coke sign since before we got married...]
 I set a few things out on the tool / cat food shelf...
things I already had...
Tip: use plastic table cloths to conceal things as needed. LOL
Here are some of our wreaths – 
As always – whenever I’m involved in a group activity – 

 Every single one is beautiful – 
Fun was had by all!
[I hope!]

I love every one of them!
[The wreaths AND the people!]
I wish we'd gotten more photos - but it was SEC Championship weekend... 
and the game was coming on soon, lol...
But here's the thing: I had so much fun just being together with friends!
The wreaths were a bonus in my book…
Let the Merry [MERRY] Christmas 
season begin!

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