If I kind of disappeared the past few days, we've been prepping for, and then having, our mostly-annual holiday party.
When we moved back to Austin from Phoenix, we decided that we wanted to have a Christmas party to catch up with friends, many of whom we see all too rarely these days. The first party was both a great "welcome back" party, with a completely packed house, and also, as it turned out, served as one of the last parties before babies, etc... as evidenced by the fact that I dismissed the last guest at 4:00 AM.
We've had the party almost every year since then, with, I believe, only one hiccup. We try to have it early, before December is really in full swing and you're in competition with a thousand other parties. We try very hard not to be jerks about it, but it's a cocktail party and while we adore your kids, this is not the house nor party for having the wee ones running about underfoot. This is grown-up drinking time.
I will say, the rule I post is "no kids between 1 and 21". It's my chance to see new babies if any have arrived, so last night we had Wee Will of Preddy fame, who was debuting in public, I suppose.
Some years we put out the call and we get 15 people, and then other nights, like last night, I have no idea. It was a constant and changing sea of faces, of people who don't know each other, or only know each other from last year's party, etc... but it's always entertaining to see who is chatting as you pass through the knots of conversation. These days it's friends from middle school, both high schools I attended, college, multiple work places over the years, family, friends that are around so much they are family... they may not know each other, but it's amazing what a table full of booze will do to grease the gears of socializing. Yes, it was a very full house. And, yes, I have a lot of cleaning and dish-washing to do today.
I think because Thanksgiving came early and December 1 was a Saturday, we didn't have much competition for the evening and last night was a bustling holiday extravaganza. My folks even brought their pals from Scotland to add to the festivities. Lots of people brought food and drink to help out, and we went from 6:00 PM to about 2:00 AM. So, yeah, I finally got out of bed around 11:00. I'd not gone to bed until after cleaning up a bit then sitting and drinking water and watching Staying Alive for a bit on TV.
And, hey, I'm not kidding. We basically throw open the doors and say "come on over" for this gig every year. If you're going to be in Texas next December, we'll see you then.