Two years ago, my wife threw a little party and invited practically every woman we knew from the ward. It was a cookie exchange where everybody was to bring three dozen cookies and a Christmas tree ornament. They sat around in a big circle and exchanged the ornaments white-elephant style while munching on cookies. Everybody took home a big plate of assorted cookies having enjoyed a nice time visiting.
Well, my wife did it again last year and it went very well. And so this year she felt somewhat obligated to do it again. It's now a new yearly tradition that several of the women in the ward really look forward to. It's funny, she held it the first time so she could get to know the rest of the ward, and now she's "stuck" doing it every year. One of the women in the ward actually purchased her ornament to exchange before my wife had even sent out the invites!
Now, my wife enjoys holding the exchange, but I can tell she feels a little pressured to keep it going every year. To add to her frustration, she sent out 46 announcements this year, and only 9 people showed up! It just turned out to be a really bad night to hold a party. Nevertheless, I believe it still went very well. The women who came seemed to enjoy themselves, the ornament exchange game went well, and there were plenty of good cookies to go around.
The funny part is that throwing the party is actually quite easy -- all my wife needs to do is distribute the announcements, get the house cleaned (which she can delegate, unfortunately), and bake three dozen cookies. Nevertheless, she still feels pressure to try to make it go absolutely perfectly.
In any case, I believe it's a wonderful thing she does -- a nice, informal party where some of the women from the ward who don't normally get the chance to come to these sorts of things can come and enjoy the friendship of the other women. It's a great thing, and I'm grateful she does it (and I like the cookies, too!).
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