Every year, our church has a fundraising service auction, where we bid on donated services, dinners and parties, excursions, etc. And one of the items that I always bid on is the SAD Party, which was given last night by our lovely and gracious hosts in their Fredericksburg home, as always in the depths of winter and after the holiday glow has faded, when people really need an excuse for a party. So the theme is Seasonal Affective Disorder, or just the Winter Blahs, where we boost our spirits by eating, drinking, consuming mass quantities of chocolate (or was that only me?) and playing party games on the sad theme. In our first game, cards that they haven't seen were placed on players' backs, describing why they’re sad. And then you have to ask yes or no questions to try and guess your reason. It was a great ice breaker. I was sad because I had “passed up tickets to a Rod Stewart concert to come to the party” (spending most of my time trying to narrow down the list of British rockers), while my husband, in perfect keeping with his true nature, was sad because he “hates playing silly party games.”
For me, the highlight of the night was the crummy gift grab bag exchange, which gives partygoers the opportunity to unload some terrible gift, and bring home someone else’s terrible gift. Each person can choose an unopened gift from the pile, or take one that has already been opened, but as it turns out, rarely does anyone get a gift worth taking. Although the cheesy multicolored light-up fish lamp was a hot commodity. I came home with (and had to steal from someone else to get, who gladly gave these up) this kitschy Christmas themed salt & pepper shaker set (center back). Which as you can see, goes nicely with some of my other tacky salt & pepper shakers from a no-longer-displayed-or-added-to collection (hear that, family and friends?).
For the record, some of these are new shakers, bought in stores that specialize in 1950’s-looking kitsch, although a few, like the Siamese cats, the Capitol/Washington Monument, the feet, the ears of corn, and the violin/lute are authentic vintage sets, and the monks are Hummel figurines which I actually use. Looking at these all together makes me think it’s time to take these out of storage and put them in rotation in the kitchen. In recognition of recent events, I think I’ll start with the DC landmarks.
The illustration at top was borrowed from the blog of Sarah Douglas, a talented British illustrator with a whimsical style. Hope she doesn’t mind.