I knew that Lions were meat eaters, so the chili was no surprise, but I had no idea they could go through booze at such a prodigious rate.
My father-in-law, you see, is a member of his local Lion's Club and he took us along to their annual Christmas party. It was a pot luck including a half dozen different chilis and lots of goodies. There was a self-serve bar and a double culmination to the evening: a visit from Santa for the kids and a raffle for a "Basket of Cheer" (i.e. bottles of booze) and individual bottles as well. We had a nice time.
I was reminded of all the Christmas parties I went to as a kid, though they bore only a passing resemblance to this one.
My parents were members of the Grange: they made apple butter and cider with the Grange, they made sausage, they were part of the Grange bowling league. And every December, they had a Christmas party. I don't remember much about it--some kind of boring meeting followed by a gift exchange for the adults and Santa for the kids--either the parents brought a gift for their child or they brought a gift for a particular gender (matching their child's). Maybe they did each at different times, I'm not sure.
I think the one I loved the best as a kid was our church's. I can't remember whether or not there was something upstairs in the sanctuary before we wound up in the church basement for a potluck. We always ended up singing Christmas carols, led by Mr. Behm. He was a leader in the church, he was a middle school science teacher (I think every kid who went through our school system had him for 7th grade science) and the announcer at the high school football games (and the loudest singer of the national anthem at those games). He led us through various carols, both religious and secular. He was famous for his "Twelve Days of Christmas" and the way he made us kids laugh on "Five Golden Rings," which sometimes when on and on ("Five golden ring-ing-ing-ing-ing-ing-ing-ing-ings!") and then sometimes cut off much more quickly (as kids, we were easy to surprise into laughter). The last song, though, would always be "Jingle Bells," and during the song, we'd hear the jingling of bells coming down the stairs and Santa Claus would arrive. I don't think we got any gifts other than candy canes and popcorn balls, but we got to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what we wanted.
Really, though, it was the singing that made the biggest impression on me. I always loved singing.
What about you? What are the more memorable Christmas parties you've been to, either as a child or an adult?