Last week was the Batty Babes’ annual Christmas party, and as usual we shared many laughs and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. This is the one time of the year where we have a potluck meal (usually the host provides the meal for our gatherings), and we all have our specialties that show up on the menu year after year along with new favorites, too. We draw names for a gift exchange, and have a white elephant gift exchange that is always a hoot (more on that in a sec)! A couple of years ago we decided that rather than give each person individual gifts, we would instead do a community service project. This year we each made kids’ pillowcases that will be donated to ConKerr Cancer through SHQC. As luck would have it I had made arrangements to meet Lisa Rowell, our ConKerr Coordinator, the following morning to drop off the 171 pillowcases we collected during our Thanksgiving pillowcase drive at the shop, and I was able to add another 173 pillowcases made by the Batty Babes! WOW! 334 pillowcases! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — quilters have the most giving spirits and this group in particular!
Our Christmas gathering was hosted by Ardis this year, and her home was beautifully decorated for our party. Every nook and cranny held little Christmas surprises that made me smile. The table and buffet were beautifully set with china, candles and live greenery. We were ‘warned’ to watch out for little unwanted guests from the live greenery, which she had cut from her yard earlier in the day. Fortunately, none made an appearance during dinner!
I mentioned our white elephant gift exchange earlier, and it is absolutely one of the most fun things we do at Christmas. There are a number of white elephant gifts that are truly dreaded — we’re talking hideous things, ya’ll — and we go to great lengths to disguise the packaging so the recipient won’t be able to “avoid” certain gifts. The rule is that whatever white elephant gift you get, it must be prominently displayed throughout the year whenever you host the Babes at your home. Occasionally someone gets a white elephant gift that they actually like and in those cases they are allowed to introduce a “new” white elephant to the mix the following year. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s white elephant gift exchange.
Jo Beth got the dreaded “head” this year. This is a ceramic Victorian Lady bust that has made the rounds of the Babes for years! No one wants to end up with this!
Liz was the proud recipient of the hideous felt Christmas card table runner this year. I had it last year, and in an attempt to disguise it I put it into a (new) pizza box tied up with a big red ribbon knowing that someone would be curious enough to have to see what was in the pizza box! It proved irresistible to Liz! This thing is hard to describe. It was made by Ardis’ mother years and years ago as a Garden Club project, I think. The backing is green felt and it has cut outs from Christmas cards glued onto it with some bling here and there, topped by white tulle netting and bound with gold braid and tassels. And it is BIG! It stretches down my dining room table end to end … ugh!
Everyone thought they were safe after Liz picked the dreaded felt table runner, but Ardis threw us a curve ball by introducing a matching bell pull!!! Lucky Deanna was the recipient as you can see. Oh Joy! Can’t wait to have my turn with this monstrosity!
Robin was the lucky one when it came to the Elvis Liquor Decantor! Remember these??? I’m a HUGE Elvis fan, but I draw the line at these – no way do I want this thing at my house! Robin actually seems quite pleased, doesn’t she? Maybe because that thing is still filled with liquor???
How many Babes does it take to untie a bow???
There are a few Babes who should have been politicians – they are masters at “appropriating” gifts for themselves! Here Deanna attempts to steal Ardis’ gift by hiding it under her sweater! And it actually took Ardis a minute to notice the “square” tummy – all she knew was that her gift was missing!
Shared laughter, good food, good friends and the sights and sounds of the season – Christmas memories in the making!