A November rainstorm was blowing, rain and wind and chilly temperatures. Friends ran into the house soaked and laughing, holding warm dishes of food to share. Everyone gathered and poured a drink, nibbled cheese and snapped Instagrams of the table. Little conversation starters had been placed around the table... questions and little blurbs to get everyone chatting. It was generally unnecessary- for where colorful, loving people are gathered, conversation flows. (And the champagne punch didn't hurt either!)
One of the prompts was to say one of your best traits- and as each lady went around the table, the others chimed in and encouraged, organically, and as only friends can. This was a group of ladies where some had years of friendship under their belts, others a handful of months, and some had only met that night. As the candles flickered, the light glowed in our eyes- women who had just been introduced over a cheese board named strengths, and close friends laughed and supported each other.
As we rounded the table, my turn came. Words such as "welcoming", "hospitable", and"creative" were mentioned. I myself said my strengths were acceptance/love for others and creativity. I was not being full of myself. It had taken me years to realize the things that motivated my heart, the things I naturally am drawn towards... and then the confidence to say them out loud. To not be ashamed to know what I am good at, and what drives me. And as I looked around the table, the vintage glassware and blue and white china I had lain out, the thrifted brass candlesticks winking with a magical glow... I also took in the amazing humans I have collected over the years.
This year, there is a lot to be thankful for.
CHAMPAGNE PUNCH (A SORT OF RECIPE)
Lingonberry Concentrate (from Ikea)
Cointreau (Orange Liqueur)
Pour everything to taste into a pretty punch bowl... enjoy! The beauty of punch is that there is no sure, tried and true recipe.