Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Tradition of Celebrating

I have seen so many festive and fun church Christmas parties around my home and on friends' blogs. There are so many creative and willing people to help their wards or congregations feel the spirit of Christmas. Since our little branch opened with 6 families about 4 years ago, we have always had the same celebration for our Christmas party--a dinner, a talent show and a dance. If you know much about the Latin American culture, you know that no party is complete without a dance.

We are now a large ward and it takes a lot of food to feed all of us. But Friday we enjoyed a delicious dinner followed by the talent show. There are several members in our ward who are in different folklore dance groups and they helped to bring color and fun to the stage.


Here is happy Sabrina walking back to me with her daddy. We as a primary (I'm the secretary) put together little candy bags for each child and a family home evening jar for each family. The jar just has little strips of paper with ideas for a lesson with a scripture and song. (Who knew such a simple idea would take sooooo many hours to put together?)

Then the piñatas--

I have to admit that I am not a fan of them. Why?? We have been to so many parties with them over the years and it's almost always the same thing. First, it's a scary danger with a child wielding a large stick around a group of small children anxious to get as close as possible to the piñata to see better and in case it opens suddenly. I can't tell you how many times there have been near misses. I thought it'd be better this time since, for some reason, the children weren't blindfolded, but as you can see, the children intent on destroying the hanging ball of candy do not pay much attention to anything or anyone around them.

And then at the end when it finally is broken open, someone has not gotten a turn yet and is in tears. Plus everyone dives for the candy, but always the older children (even older teenagers often times) grab huge piles of food and leave little for the smaller children, which causes more tears. And even when there is a kind child who shares with someone who didn't get any, it's just not the same to that child so the tears don't stop. Oh, my! It's a party and it's supposed to be fun.

While all the piñata drama was going on, the dance was starting. And in case you don't know, a Latin dance is different than most American dances. In the Latin culture, they play different types of music (classics, pop, ballads...), but the whole family dances to just about all the songs. So you see grandmas out on the floor dancing next to teenagers. It's so fun. Robin and I used to go Latin dancing just about every weekend before we had children, but we rarely do now so it's good to get a chance once in a while. Hope you had a good Christmas party!


8 comments:

  1. LOVE seeing the dancing pictures. The dance costumes are beautiful. My parents grew up going to the Lucero Ward in Salt Lake and were a part of its Folklorico dance group. The pictures of them in their costumes are some of my favorites of my parents.

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  2. I want to visit your branch!

    Sooo jealous of the performance! Holy Moly!! The costumes.. the dancing.. it's WAY over and beyond where our ward goes. How cool to have so many different cultures to share the fun!

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  3. Oh I miss great big ole ethnic wards and their parties of music, dance, fun and REAL food! I grew up in a mixed ward most of the time and coming to Minnesnowda was a shock to our whole family's system. If this is what church is like in Utah, of course my family will always look like the family trying to be crazy and break from tradition. Love the pinatas because i haven't seen one since leaving LA.

    True story, our ward NEVER dances, even at the small wedding receptions in the cultural hall. My husband and I along with our kids always dance when we here music at the weddings just to give the members something to talk about. Weren't we commanded to have joy?? How do you do that without music and dance in a ward?? I will post about losing all my marbles and getting the YW to break with tradition in April = P

    May

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  4. Beautiful pics! Looks like a fun party (:

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  5. Wow, your ward parties look like a lot more fun than ours! Beautiful costumes. It reminds me of culture day in high school.

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  6. That's quite a big deal! Very Cool!

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  7. How fun! Oh, I miss that culture! They know how to have a good time! :) Merry Christmas!

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  8. What a fun activity. And boy, that's quite the disdain for pinatas! ;) I totally get what you're saying though!

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