Wow. So. Most successful Christmas party of all time. I mean, honestly, it was the perfect party. And now I feel completely prepared to tell you what you need to do to throw the perfect party, in ten easy steps:
- The perfect number of guests to invite is 9. This is particularly perfect if you have exactly 9 chairs on hand. This is the perfect sized group to allow for little break-offs and to accommodate all-group conversations at the same time.
- Martha Stewart has the best cut-out cookie recipe. I should have known that. Martha Stewart probably IS a cut-out cookie.
- White elephant gift exchanges are awesome.
- When making the invite list to your white elephant gift party, be sure to invite at least two artists who will take the "white elephant" thing literally and will bring a present that in some way actually incorporates a white elephant. Perhaps by transforming a pudding Snak Pak into an elephant by coiling wire around it. (You'd probably have to see this to understand what I mean.)
- Catchphrase is awesome.
- You don't put vodka in eggnog (or soynog). You put brandy or rum or whiskey. Makes all the difference in the world.
- As "good" as your homemade apple cider was at your Halloween party, the expensive apple cider they sell at Whole Foods is better. Like, way better. And you can definitely put a cinnamon stick in there and say you made it yourself.
- If you put chips and salsa out for your party because you think it's possible your guests will want to eat something besides cookies and frosting, know that the artists you invite to the party (see number 4) will use the chips to decorate their cookies. And this will be awesome.
- Putting a Star of David on your Christmas tree cookie is funny and ironic and also pretty inclusive.
- "All I Want for Christmas Is You" should be played often and loudly and preferably on repeat at any party you throw during any season regardless of theme or religious affiliation.
On Tuesday we took the kids on a field trip to the Contemporary Art Center (which is an unbelievably cool place in general, and has some of the best Prospect.1 exhibits in the whole city [I was especially in love with the Bob Marley video piece, and I notoriously HATE Bob Marley, so that's saying something]). The trip was horrible because of this one woman who was so incredibly rude and condescending to my wonderful students and actually quit her job in the middle of leading them in a workshop. She called them idiots and told one pregnant girl that she shouldn't have gotten pregnant in high school... I don't know. I can't communicate in words how hurtful she was. She broke Derren. Derren is this wonderful, 450-pound boy who I work really closely with. No matter what you do to him, or say to him, or try with him, he is always chatty and loud and playful, bouncing back from whatever comes his way. But after meeting this woman, he shut down for the rest of the day and refused to talk to anyone or do anything.
But the whole experience helped me realize how much I love these kids. I mean, I haven't cried in about three weeks, but seeing the kids beaten down like that, I had to step away and cry for a little while. I couldn't stand seeing the people I love more than anyone in the world hurt like that. After it was all over, I took my group aside and told them I was so impressed with them and proud of them, and that they were the reason I woke up every morning. As soon as I said that, I realized how true it was.
And then on Wednesday we dissected fetal pigs. FTW.