This post is part of a regular feature I have creatively titled, “Things that are awesome” Wednesday.
In this weekly post, I am going to share something that struck me as awesome during the past week. It may be a great recipe, a cool event, a favorite blog, a special moment or whatever else scores a 10 on the awesome-meter.
And if you have something awesome to share, I’d love to hear about it! Post to comments or e-mail me and let me know.
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My friend Jane and I created our own homemade holiday — Winter Wonderland.
I guess technically Winter Wonderland is a party that became like the most awesome holiday to us. I don’t exactly remember how it originated but it went something like this:
One winter evening, Boston, circa 2001. Temperatures outside were below freezing. My roommate Jane was sprawled on the couch and I was lounging on the floor with multiple pillows. We had just turned off “The Real World: Back to New York” and started to chat.
Jane: Don’t you think the weeks after New Years are so annoying? It’s freezing cold and dark and the next holiday is not until Memorial Day.
Me: Totally. We need something to look forward to before May.
Jane: We should have a party.
Me: Oooh, a party is a great idea! But not a normal party. We should make it something special.
Jane: It should be something fancy.
Jane: And sophisticated.
Me: We should have a Winter Wonderland party. We can hang snowflakes from the ceiling!
Jane: That’s perfect! Everything should be all sparkling and white.
Me: And we should have a fancy dress code — like a cocktail party. Everyone should have to wear silver and white.
Jane: And sparkles!
We went on planning that night for hours. Our excitement grew with each new idea. Decorations! A specialty cocktail! Our favorite foods! The most fun guests! Dancing!
That original Winter Wonderland party was a raging success. Over the next decade, Jane hosted seven other Winter Wonderland spectaculars. After I moved, I flew back from Denver to attend each of them — WWIII through WWXIII. (We abbreviated the name and numbered them with Roman numerals, as seemed appropriate for an event of such significance in our lives.)
Each year, the party become more over the top. The decorations grew more elaborate, our guests’ outfits became more dramatic, the pre-party excitement grew – and the post-party gossip got more interesting.
Over time, Winter Wonderland morphed from a party into its own holiday. It was more than a one-night event for Jane and I and many of our friends – it was the culmination of a whole WW planning season. The season usually kicked off sometime in September when one of us spotted a sequined dress in the store and rushed home to tell the other, “I saw the best Winter Wonderland dress!” The excitement would build over the months, as we planned out our outfits, the guest list, the decorations, the food and the special “Snowflake” cocktail.
Winter Wonderland has been the source of endless amusement and celebration for us and our friends. To me, the party came to symbolize the fun that can be had simply by deciding to celebrate. We created a whole holiday where there was none.
About a year ago this week, Jane hosted what she swears was the final Winter Wonderland. She decided to dedicate her time, energy and money to other purposes in January. But despite the lack of party, the third week of January will always be WW season to Jane and me. It’s our own personal homemade holiday – which is pretty awesome.