Surviving a Holiday Potluck

Today marked a long awaited day on the calendar for two reasons. One, we celebrated the good things in life with a holiday potluck and dessert exchange, and laughed at each other during a white elephant gift exchange. Two, this was my last day of work in the office for 2011. I’ll be working from home tomorrow finishing up some paperwork from Operation Santa for AmeriCorps and completing an evaluation of my first four and a half months of service, but after that last day of work is done, I’ll be back on a plane bound for California.

I can’t believe how much life has changed since I left in August. Dreams have been born to replace the ones I let go of when I joined AmeriCorps and moved to Washington. My world view and circle of friends has expanded yet again, and I have more life experience, hopes, and ambitions. I could go on, but New Year’s Eve is still a week and a half away, and the other sentiments that I might share are likely best left for that day, after the year is truly over.

Lunchtime today featured a variety of salads, starches, and meats, but the desserts ran the show. We ran a white elephant gift exchange between the main courses and dessert, an event that entertained us all. A bar of Irish Springs soap, a bowling pin that was allegedly stolen from a military base, and an old pond-guarding ceramic turtle worked their way around the room. I happily walked away with “The Worst Case Scenario” board game, but one of my fellow AmeriCorps members felt a little more ambivalent about her gift.

Best part of this photo? Our boss gigglling in the background


With smiles on our faces, we dug into the desserts. Sugar cookies, Oreo truffles, thumbprint jam cookies, and chocolate crinkle cookies all made it onto my take home plate, while my mini fudge & mint cupcakes from Sunday found their way to others’ dessert stashes. We took out the trash, cleaned up the office, and said goodbye to the office. Except for the food bank, we won’t be offering services again until January 3rd. A voice inside of me feels bad that our clients might not get their needs fulfilled while we’re closed for the holidays, but that voice is drown out by the one singing  I’ll be home for Christmas.

Awesome classic sugar cookies