cartoon heart

this past weekend, my sanity came in the form of three very important and traditional holiday events, plus one other that was just plain fun.

friday was festivus.  saturday was muppets and nog.  sunday was caroling.  monday was tangled.

f e s t i v u s : :
"festivus for the rest of us!" you can read all about what wikipedia has to say about it here. basically, it's a made-up holiday from seinfeld (though i believe it's the only seinfeld episode i've ever seen) including a feast, a festivus pole instead of a Christmas tree, an "airing of grievances", and a "feats of strength" --where anyone can challenge anyone else to any sort of feat of strength. the party doesn't end til the host gets pinned.

a buncha "cool kids" started hosting their own festivus in high school, but i didn't know them well enough to feel like i could go.

since talisa is always one of the hostesses, i started attending festivus along with her her other parties during my college years (because we've been super close friends since we were...6 years old) and have gotten to know my old classmates in a different light, sans-high school clique. and i have come to really love and care about these people, so it makes it awesome. plus, we've gained a lot more friends along the way from all sorts of places.

the festivus bunch, 2011
f e s t i v u s    h i g h l i g h t s:
- grievances (often a highlight) -- i grieved that we didn't do festivus in sweden where talisa is. the grievance i read said "i grieve that some of you didn't dress up -- and in the presence of the festivus pole, no less!"
- everyone always looks so darn swanky.
- the inside jokes that form over the years. this round, i think about 3 people grieved over luke's mustache from last year, and he wasn't even there. so another grieved that he wasn't there this time so that they couldn't even give him grief about it.
- redeeming my dignity by winning a feats of strength of balance (after losing to britta last year...who needs to know how to blow a kazoo anyway?!....)
- so much cute offspring from my classmates! (many of whom ended up marrying each other, which is kinda fantastic)
- ...aaaand the after-party. this was honestly the best. i caught up with some friends with whom i've not really talked to for quite some time. for me, that was the best part of festivus this year. i really walked out on a high. i'm so blessed to have long-time friends!

provo high : class of '06

m u p p e t s  +  n o g .
"there's no such thing as strangers, when a stranger says hello!" when jeff lived in utah, he had a "muppet Christmas carol" and homemade eggnog party every year. since he's moved to texas, he's still been able to pull it off when he visits utah. it's cool, cuz jeff's the only common denominator between all of us. it's amazing what one person can do to glue lots of other people together. forgive me for deferring to his blog for this one, but he really sorta nailed it.

we found mark's face!
adding my two cents: this was a welcome relief to a really long and kind of disheartening day. and it really was one of my favorite muppet parties so far.

 c a r o l i n g ! 
"the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" my family has hosted an annual caroling party for the past...21 years. give or take.

t h i s    y e a r ' s    n o r m a l i t i e s :
- met at 5pm
- everyone introduced themselves, how they knew us and how many years they've come to this tradition
- there were about 70 people this year, which was a good group (we've ranged from 25-90)
- headed out around 5:30 after gaining confidence by singing around the piano
- caroled  for about 45 minutes. and here's the cool thing -- we often carol to those who are sick, in need, or older in our neighborhood. we even have "regulars" to whom we carol :)
- when thoroughly frozen, we came back home to dethaw
- ...and ate and ate and ate. including my mom's famous cider stuff.
- and the after-party. they really are the best.

t h i s    y e a r ' s    a n o m a l i e s : 
- i decorated the tree the HOUR before it began. by myself. and i did most the lights while on the phone. boo-yah.
- it was lots of people's "first time" to caroling. ironically, many of these people i've known for multiple years (and others came who have been coming for literally more than 17 years!)
- jessicabarry (and talisa) and i were inseperable growing up and she finally made it to caroling. it was fun because after we caroled this year, jessica and i were able to talk with the older residents we caroled to and i realized how many wonderful memories i've had with these people.
- papa joe accompanied us on guitar. he and mama haynie are like my second parents. 
- the "married person" room. :D my brother kevin and his wife debbie, logan and tricia, murph and laura....what?! they were all in conversation for quite some time. for some reason, it was a little funny. weird. but cool. but weird. .......but cool.

like jeff is the glue for his party, i was the glue for caroling. i love having all my friends from different aspects of my life meet each other. gosh, it's a wonderful feeling.


i was sad not to get any pictures of the group this time around, however, i guess that's okay because we did catch the sweetest part of the night:

floyd + simon = roommates / buddies / our examples.
floyd and simon continually teach us what Christmas really is all about. as we were watching this sweet correspondence, britta leaned over and whispered, "i'm excited to see what they're like in heaven. best friends and all." and that was a lovely thought.

t a n g l e d ~
"stuck in the same place i've always been, wondering when will my life begin?" until last night, my teacher for this animation class, cynthia hogan, had never seen 'tangled'! so she very kindly invited all her classes over to her house to watch it. pizza and brownies were provided, as well as chocolate milk, so it was all sorts of guilty indulgement.

i really love hanging out with animators. there's such a vitality amidst them. and i super loved watching the movie with them -- i felt like we were all so much more into it than other groups with whom i've seen it.

c o n v e r s a t i o n    b i t :
...*SPOILER* (but honestly, if you haven't seen it by now, ...i doubt you care that this will spoil it?) -- one of my favorite parts was toward the end of the movie, when rapunzel's parents come out and see her for the first time. it was a super tender moment, but this is what made it awesome: scott commented aloud, "is it bad that all i can think of is, 'man, the rigs of those parents must be so much easier than the other characters!....' ?" we all chuckled, then cynthia retorted with, "well i'm sitting over here thinking, 'you can't marry him anyway -- he's not a prince!!" and everyone just busted up laughing. and even more so when scott responded with, "well, is he sultan or is he sultan?!!" -- quoting the end of aladdin where a similar circumstance occurs. which is extra funny, because cynthia actually animated the sultan in aladdin. the whole movie was riddled with exchanges like this between us (which honestly sometimes frustrates me, but not at all with this group -- the comments were too witty to not share).

and, um...as much as i hate to admit this, watching tangled reminds me that the little girl who really wants to be a princess and have a fairy tale story is still somewhere inside of me. i feel like it should be something that i should grow out of, but uh, as of now....nope.


oh, good times. each of these groups of people were different, and all had unique and wonderful dynamics. bottom lines...in order:

bottom line #1 -- there wasn't anything fantastic about festivus -- just an aluminum pole and some awesome people. but it was such a fantastic night. we've grown up, branched out and have experienced life since high school. and the group has gotten so much more diversified because of friends of friends of friends who come (and that whole marriage thing) -- that we're an eclectic bunch. it really is, "for the rest of us"!

bottom line #2 -- it's fascinating what or who can bring people can together, and how often we can find a new friend when we go outside of our comfort zone. it all starts with a mere "hello".

bottom line #3 -- music is (to me) so essential! it can make me feel happy or sad...or terrible, or angsty, or hopeful, or grateful, or just plain peaceful. i feel like it speaks to all emotions that can't be expressed in plain words. (by the way, i'd still love to know what you're listening to!) whether one could sing or not was completely irrelevant at caroling -- everyone sang because it made us happy, and in turn made those to whom we sang happy as well.

bottom line #4 -- life has already begun, and if we wait too long for something to happen, we'll miss it! so stop wondering and make things happen. something so cliché, but i'm still learning how to apply it.


lastly, it's easy to get mixed up in the worries of life at this time of year. even for those of us who really revere Christmas and especially Christ. i hope we take time to really remember the meaning of it all -- and especially what it means to us. i started wondering, what does it mean to me, individually? right now? and is that consistent with what i think it should mean to me? if not, i need to do something to change it. 

let's be like simon and floyd. let's be excellent. :) 


KK said...

Looks like my roommate MJ was an attendee at your nog party. Small world!

--jeff * said...

posts like this are why i love to read "warm fuzzies and hand snuggleez." or, rather, these are the quintessential posts that make your blog what it is.


I. i've always found it a little--"odd" isn't the right word--that you went to a festivus party, since you really don't seem like a seinfeld fan to me. so, yeah, it makes sense that you've only seen that one episode.
II. i really dig how you guys do the "airing of grievances" but that it entirely avoids negativity or frustrations. sounds like a dang lot of fun. as do the feats of strength. most of all, though, i like that it's become so much more than just some wrestling around an aluminum pole, that it's become a cherished event where you make new friends and get to know old ones. sublime.

III. i'm glad you were able to come to the muppet party after a day like that. you know….

IV. i had no idea that your family had been caroling for 20+ years. i always thought it was something you started with some friends a few years ago. but no…. very awesome.

V. 70 people?? wow. i've been telling people it was 40 (and that leaves them impressed!) i was surprised at how many people there were "first years." many, like myself, who have known you for years and just never been able to make it. hoping it won't be my last.

VI. i loved that we caroled to those who seemed to appreciate it most. really liked that part of the whole evening.

VII. also liked papa joe and his guitar there. very helpful.

VIII. and simon's solo on "silent night."

IX. loved seeing you and your dear friends thoroughly enjoying the night and each other. it was very… you know the word.

X. didn't try to the famous cider stuff; i was too full on sugared things already, sadly.

XI. most excellent work on the tree. (i love that you decorated it like an artist…. ; )

XII. you are great glue. i got to meet some good people there, too.

XIII. watching "tangled" with animators: awesome! watching it with cynthia as well: seriously awesome! i'm glad you and co. were taking the opportunity to geek out through the movie. (i was told this summer that when rapunzel runs and hugs her mom at the end, the her face went about thirds the way into her mom's face, which the animator did because it looked good from the camera's angle. but i think the lighters had to correct that…)

XIV. so very, very happy that the fairy tale princess is still inside of you. always keep her. {*}

XV. thank you for sharing your lessons. ei blot til lyst.

Mary said...

Way to much fun for this girl to handle! Happy Holidays !!

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