16th Annual Adopt-A-Family Holiday PartyI can't believe our annual Adopt-A-Family Holiday Party is just days away. Our party is scheduled for Saturday, December 5 at our house. Since we host Thanksgiving and our holiday party, for years I have joked that every single plate, pot, pan and piece of silverware Susan and I own receives a thorough cleaning at least twice between the two events. We're talking about our nice plates, our day-to-day plates and even that silly Roswell alien plate (it's always hilarious to see who gets that one each year).
This December will be the 16th annual party. The tradition began with Susan's college friends. Rather than purchase gifts for each other, they decided to do what their parents taught them and decided to share with others who are less fortunate.
So, how does this event work?
Susan and I invite friends over for dinner on us. In exchange, our friends contribute a donation of non-perishable food items and/or daily hygiene items such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. These items are always in need at our local shelters. Yes, even in DuPage County. We also ask for a financial donation to purchase gifts for the families we adopt. Initially, we have set a targeted donation amount. Over the last several years, we opened the donation amount. We ask our guests to consider what they would spend to go out to a special dinner. Since we contribute to several local organizations, all donations are tax-deductible. Each year we're amazed at people's generosity.
Around 2 p.m., the early crowd heads to Target in Lombard and goes shopping. With lists in hand, we divide and conquer the store. Yes, guys buy the toys and the girls buy clothes. Slightly stereotypical, but it just works out better that way. We even have a niece and nephews who needed service hours. We can always use those extra sets of hands, too. Then we return to our house and wrap presents. Honestly, I've been banned from wrapping due to my inferior wrapping skills. Don't worry, I'm not offended. That's just better for everyone. I'm happy to serve as a runner for the evening. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
Around 7 p.m. it's time to eat. I'd be lying if I said I didn't know what was on the menu, but I like to keep it a surprise.