Sunday, December 11, 2011

I See... Oh Ye of Little Faith

It's that time of the year. The pleasing strains of “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” comfort us with expectations of a Christ-centered Christmas. We review the miraculous events surrounding the birth of the Savior and contemplate in awe the condescension of God; that He would send His Son to come down among us, to dwell among men, to take upon himself our infirmities, that he may know how to succor us as we wade through our own challenges. To believe in this, however, requires faith. I'm the first one to describe Relief Society sisters of the church as beautiful bastions of faith. The truth, however, is that there is one prominent, albeit relatively minor part of life in the expanse of eternity, where the faith of our females are sorely tested: trusting the Priesthood to pull off a practically popular ward Christmas party.

The trivial tension generated by the quest for a class-A ward Christmas activity started to build in Ward Council as early as six months ago, where in July the Bishopric went off script and put the High Priests Group in charge of the ward Christmas party. In past years, either the Relief Society or the now historic ward activities committee, wisely led by a wise Relief Society sister, would have started holding several rounds of planning meetings in the summer and have an action plan together, complete with a floor plan and a detailed description of how many forks were needed, by the beginning of September. This would give the sisters two months and several impromptu craft construction parties to stretch a 50$ decorating budget into hundreds of dollars' worth of festive table decorations. They must have waited patiently in udder horror, however, when the High Priests Group didn't even think about the priesthood assignment until early November, and made another incredibly wacky decision to put the Elders Quorum in charge of the dinner. Stereotypes were being crushed.

The Priesthood, of course, chose a typically superficial theme: Christmas Morning. The highlight of the activity would be a ward waffle breakfast produced by the Elder's Quorum. Men preparing food for others in large quantities is traditionally a risky venture. The EQ would requisition an army of electric wafflemakers from ward members and make fresh waffles live using “just-in-time” production technology, with nothing mixed or prepared in advance! How dare they! It will never work!

Everybody knows that a successful ward party dinner requires instantly producing all edible food immediately on banquet tables and making anxious hungry ward members queue up in long snaky lines; while they are talking to the family in line in front of them about the weather, their minds are running wild with worry about whether or not the gourmet macaroni and cheese on the second table will be gone by the time they reach it. Furthermore, to make the evening as authentic as possible, they would ask all the primary children to wear their pajamas!

The Elder's quorum crew arrived only 30 minutes before the rest of the ward. By zero hour they had several wafflemakers running full speed pumping out edible treasures at record pace. While young parents took their jammie-bearing children to see Santa in the Relief Society room, more mature couples had their fill of fresh hot waffles with syrup, whipped cream, butter, and blueberries, brought to their tables by missionaries serving in more than one context. By the time Santa left the house and the younger half of the ward filtered into the cultural hall, they were greeted with a fresh tranche of hot steamy hot waffles with all the trimmings. Furthermore, now that all the children were wearing their pajamas, it was home and conveniently straight into bed, with minimal bedtime drama.

Priesthood accidental planning had produced a memorable ward party. All of this primal planning germinated in hearts and heads of the brethren. Men can cook, plan and produce. Now it is time for our sisters to believe. Blessings come only after the trial of faith. Blessed are the women of our ward.


  1. Speaking for the Relief Society - we knew all along the men could handle a ward party. You just successfully avoided the assignment all these years by giving us those pathetic looks of bewilderment should the topic of the priesthood taking on the task ever be mentioned. You realize, of course, that now that the jig is up, you can't do that anymore. So welcome to our world - we are thrilled to have you!

  2. I found your description of the food waiting lines to be dead on however, many of the kids were probably all gooed up with waffle drippings on their jammies. Wish I could have been there.