Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Wonderful Party

I'm typing this slowly through a haze of exhaustion and sickness. But still there is a smile on my weary face! :)

Today was the Toys for Tots Christmas party! I've been helping to plan this for many weeks and it all came together today whether we were ready for it or not. (I'm not making much sense. So tired!)
The day started badly. I tripped and fell, smashing my shoulder into some bricks. My whole left arm was sore all day. :(  Plus I've come down with a cold accompanied by the usual coughing, sniffling, and nasty headache. Not cool.
But the show must go on, right? So I gathered up my homemade construction paper decorations, my cut-out snowflakes, my pan of disaster Church Window Cookies, some spray-painted pine cones, and a myriad of other things and headed over to Gringos Locos to party!

There are so many special moments from today that I want to share but it's all a jumble in my head. I'd best write them down now before they scatter like snowflakes. :)

My darling friend, Nancy, standing on the bar rail to carve the turkey.
Tossing the pope's nose to Manchez, Julio's dog, who followed her own nose and wandered in by herself with no Julio in sight!
Making it snow -- not as cool as making it rain. (I simply HAD to stick up snowflakes at the bar. I need snow! I'm Canadian, eh?)
Having Löic translate to Claudia how to chop the canteloupe.
My good friend, Victor, tuk-tuk #88, coming to the party and bringing his family and kids and just livening up the place so much! They were such gracious and pleasant guests. We were happy to share our Christmas feast with them, and each child took a toy from the donations we had collected.
Gasping in shock at the potency of J.D's rum punch!
Iva's face when she had a jello shot. (Oh! So good!)
Chatting with Other Nancy about how Pana feels like somewhere she belongs.
Feeding the shoeshine boys.
Smiling patiently with Jo-Lori as Erin takes three videos of us instead of pictures! Finally got the shot... see below.  :D
Refilling the toy shelf after it was happily pillaged by children.
Meeting one of the founders of Mayan Families, the charity who is distributing the toys we've collected.
Counting out candies to the two charming boys who sell cards... "I have nine brothers and four sisters!" "Screw it, take the whole bag."  :D
Having fun with so many friends!

Truly, it was a magical party. So many people of different ages, backgrounds, and nationalities! Lots of smiling and laughing and eating and sharing. Perfection. :)

I'm not going to publish this tonight, the night of the party, because I want to get some pictures from some friends to show everyone what fun we had! But I won't have them for a day or two, so this "present tense" writing is not truly accurate. But I really did want to capture this feeling of happy exhaustion before I collapse into bed!

Manchez, Julio's adorable sweetheart!
Recognize this face? It's Flaca/Perla/Little Dog!
She came for turkey and love...and a quick snip of her stitches by Nancy. :)
The first donations.
Mmmm turkey!
Nancy's not really a giantess... she's standing on a foot rail.
At this point, the three of us were seriously considering closing the doors and eating all the turkey ourselves.
It was sooooooo delicious!
Claudia working hard in the kitchen.
Yay, festive balloons!
The first guests arrive. Lucky they did too, they got the best pickings of the food!
Dinner is served!
Buns, cheese, fruit, and sweet treats!
I had made up a bunch of props and signs for people to take photos with. It all kinda got pushed to the side when guests started arriving and eating. I'm glad some friends found them, and even more glad that Bert grabbed the camera to take some pics!
Blue-eyed Santa needs a nice drink, that's what!
The beard look good on ya, Cassidy!
Hee hee!
Jonas making up a plate of food for a shoeshine boy.
The shoeshine boy scarfing down his food! Plus many other guests enjoying a lovely meal.
Victor and his family having a Christmas feast!
All kids love balloons, don't they?
More guests socializing.
Jo-Lori and I -- she is my sister from another mister!
Can't wait to do it next year! Now on to the next adventure... stay tuned!

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