Oh my goodness - I love our friends. I feel like we are the most blessed people in the world when I think about our friends. Surely Mark and I are rich - not in money, but in the love of friends. We've been having a gumbo party for years now. I honestly can't remember when we first started the party. It was always on the Friday before Christmas and it was to be a casual, fun and restful evening for our friends. Last year, we moved the party to New Year's Eve because of the wedding and my job and a million other reasons - I just couldn't get everything done. We enjoyed having it on New Year's Eve so we did it again this year - we may have a new tradition.
I make a ginormous pot of gumbo (ginormous is my new favorite word). I always make a pot of some other kind of soup in case there is someone who can't eat shrimp, etc. Some years I have made cornbread but this year, we had hushpuppies. Some folks bring an appetizer, some bring wine or beer and some bring a dessert and we provide a few of those kinds of food also so it is a huge spread.
People rotate through the kitchen, den and dining room and visit with each other through the evening. We can't seem to make it until midnight though. Actually, Mark and Becky and I finished cleaning up the kitchen at 11:45 and I said, "everybody sit down. We are not going to bed until midnight!!" And lo and behold, they minded me!!
The conversation is always good. We solve some of the problems of the world. We talk about a few people. I didn't really type that, did I? We say only nice things. Really!!
Every year, I always have a picture of Mark with a pretty woman friend. This is our friend, Terrie and she is pretty!! Her son just got engaged so she will be a mother-in-law soon!!
Scott and Bonnie were babysitting and they brought sweet Grayson with them. I don't know where the post is but back in May of 2010, we hosted a baby shower for this pretty baby girl and it was a pink explosion!! I think she is eating a hushpuppy!!!
Kay and Lynn have such pretty smiles!!
If you look at the first picture and then look at this one, you can see how people have changed around this table. I love that part of the evening - catching up - hearing about other Christmas celebrations - hearing about kids that we've watched as they have grown up.
I cannot think of a better way to ring in the new year (or almost since we can't stay up until midnight - we've got to try harder next year!!) than to spend it with friends.