take me to a Ward Christmas Party.
Seriously, I don't understand what comes over people, but when most walk into the cultural hall for any Ward Party, but particularly the Ward Christmas Party, they immediately forget they have children. And because these children are now forgotten, they run and scream like wild animals.
All the while, the parents are stuffing themselves with mediocre (at best) food. Don't get me wrong, the food was likely delicious when it was prepared, but since it is now room temperature and picked over by the 629 people in the line in front of me, it's not as appetizing as it once was.
There are never enough tables set up, so inevitably, the late-comers are hovering in the wings, with plates of food balanced all up their arms (they seriously look like a waitress at the fancy diner that can balance 8 plates per arm--except these plates are paper and precariously tipping). If by chance you vacate your chair, you've lost it for the night. Never mind that you got up to reunite the kid screaming at the top of his lungs (because his Oreo(R) fell on the floor) and the rest of his family on the other side of the cultural hall, working on helpings three and four.
After almost everyone has served themselves (in one gargantuan line, since no one thought to set up two separate buffet tables), the evening's MC, who is the self-appointed Ward Comedian, invites the Primary children to come to the front of the Cultural Hall, stand in a single file line in front of the stage, and sing some Christmas songs that no one can hear since the kids just started learning the songs two weeks ago. Well, ok, there is that one kid that is the super achiever and sings extra loud to compensate for the rest of the kids. But she is the one that couldn't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow.
About this time, the "real" entertainment begins: the pseudo-amateur performers singing hits, such as, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Jingle Bell Rock," "Do You Hear What I Hear," and "The Twelve Days of Christmas"--all verses, acted out, with non-singers "singing." But, the bad/good news is that no one can hear the entertainment, since people won't stop talking to the person sharing the table with them (even though the rest of the year they ignore each other).
And then, there is the serious song, like "O Holy Night" or "Mary, Did You Know," that is thrown in to help everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas, but really just makes everyone feel awkward. Mostly because the singer had just remembered she had kids three minutes before she took the stage. And yelled at them to sit down and listen to the people singing.
The great news, though, is Santa makes an appearance. All the kids line up to tell Santa their wish list. And then feel cheated since Santa gives out a "prize" like an orange.
As you can tell, I'm not much of a fan of the Ward Christmas Party.
And just so you know, this doesn't necessarily describe any ONE Ward Christmas Party I've been to. It's more of an observation of how they tend to go, based on several years of attending. I made an appearance at this year's party, after several years of boycotts. I think there are several more boycotts in my future.