Holiday Happening

My centerpiece this year

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year.  Way up there at the top of the list.  It’s the annual “Holiday Happening” in our town… the most gorgeous, most festive, most delightful gathering!  It’s a fund-raising event for the Altrusa Club with proceeds going to a charitable cause, and that’s just very nice icing on the cake.

Without bogging down in the details… it’s held in the ENMU Ballroom, it’s over 60 tables with 8 guests at each table, and when I say every table is elaborate I feel that’s an understatement.  It’s an absolute winter wonderland.  Our company purchases a table every year, and it’s with great joy that I plan that table to the hilt throughout the year.  Along with the other decorators, I’m forever on the quest for just the perfect ribbon and chargers and goblets and napkins.  This year my challenge was to find cherries for my “Chocolate Covered Cherries” theme.  I found them last month!  Fabulous, perfect, fake Bing cherries.  I’m wishing I could convey the incredible happiness I felt when I ran across them.  I was almost dancing in the aisles.

The fun thing about the “Happening” is that all the decorators are doing this same thing all year.  When we come together on Friday afternoon to set the tables for Saturday’s luncheon, it’s a flurry of excitement.  The ENMU football players are on hand to carry the boxes filled with dishes and treasures upstairs to that huge room.  We bring new dishes, we bring heirloom dishes, we bring bargains from the dollar stores, and we bring priceless Christmas keepsakes.  We compliment one another on our fabulous finds, and we spend hours setting the tables.  I can’t imagine the amount of combined hours of joy-filled labor that goes into these dining tables.  It has to be in the thousands.

Well, that’s the logistics of it.  Now for the heartfelt side of things.  I tear up for the next part.   (If you read my things you’re not surprised, are you?)  What a day!  What a day this is!  I know I will see so many friends.  Some are new friends, some are old.  We’re all in our holiday clothes, we’re hugging, we’re laughing.  We’re remembering our loved ones who always loved the Holiday Happening.  I’m surrounded by family and friends… and that’s what makes this town so wonderful.

Our town won’t win any prizes for most beautiful in the nation.  When I’m “painting” with my words, I hope you conjure up Norman Rockwell images in your mind… whether you’ve been here or not.  But to be honest, we’re just a little community on the high plains where the wind can howl and fill a hedge with unsightly old plastic sacks that have escaped from who knows where.  We have our fair share of dilapidated buildings and pot holes.  But the people!  Oh the people!

Today as the president of the club was about to ask the blessing on the day and the meal, she talked about moving to our town five years ago and attending her first Holiday Happening.  She said that when she walked into that ballroom and felt the love within our community she knew she was home.  And then she prayed, “Dear Father, Thank You so much for this place called Portales…”  and I was instantly moved to tears.  Indeed!  So very thankful for this place called Portales.

Enjoy December.  It’s the hap-happiest season of all!

10 Responses to “Holiday Happening”

  1. Marcea Clive says:

    Sandy, your table is beautiful and the story even more beautiful. Great people in this town………

  2. Mary Anne says:

    I think that is a great way to begin the holiday season. It would really get one in the holiday spirit. I loved all the pictures that you posted on FB. I have heard about these for years and they have one here but I don’t know anyone involved. I know that it is just as you said a wonderful time to meet, greet, and share with friends.

  3. Micah says:

    Agreed, love this place of ours….. Portales!

  4. Linda Davis says:

    Thanks Sandy for your wonderful “word pictures”! It is truly a great blessing each year! I love seeing everyone all dressed up, laughing, smiling, enjoying!

  5. Donna McBroom says:

    Thanks Sandy for having me as your guest. I truly enjoy the Holiday Happening event. Getting to share it with a whole room of friends some of who I don’t see very often and some I haven’t seen for years is very special. The event is a wonderful way to get the Christmas season started and I too love our little town called Portales.

  6. Sandy says:

    It’s great to be back “home”, isn’t it Donna!

  7. Lori says:

    I love everything you said about Portales and the Holiday Happening! I have loved attending the Holiday Happening since I’ve moved here. It has quickly become a highlight of my holiday season every year. I truly love the people here in Portales! They are what makes the morning so wonderful! I am so blessed to have been a part of such a beautiful day!

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad I clicked over here from Micah’s fb wall. What a beautifully written post about one of my favorite places–Portales! I lived there during college and a couple years after. I tell you what, the people don’t get any better! You’re right–there are unsightly buildings and it can get a little stinky, but it is amazing and I miss is so much.

    Thanks for this little burst of happiness that now has me depressed. 😉

  9. Sandy says:

    Thanks Michelle! I’m so happy I can share through my blog!

  10. Kim says:

    A wonderful event!

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