Monday, December 10, 2007

Our staff party

This weekend we had our annual staff party at the Morning Times in downtown Raleigh. We all get dressed up and have the chance to hang out together in our fancy clothes. I really like this, I even painted my nails and wore pantyhose which I never do anymore. Everyone looked so beautiful and handsome, even before the sangria!

There were two babies at the party. Not mine, they go to bed at 7:00 and they stayed home with a babysitter and unlimited ketchup. Jadzia and Sage were in attendance, though and they were passed around and loved. Tiffany won the magic baby sock prize when she recovered the teeny sock that Sage kept dropping.

The highlight of the evening for many of us is the handmade gift exchange. We all draw numbers for the gifts and it is supposed to be random but somehow folks manage to get just the gift they want. Tiffany actually dug around in the numbers bowl until she got Tracey’s gift number (she wanted the decoupatched Christmas ornaments for her 10 foot tree!) and I think Jane did the same so she could get Sandy’s painting of Peter, Paul and Mary (the Saints, not the musical group.) There were handmade scarves, wind chimes, picture frames, shocking cross stitch, felted dish towels, candle holders and cookies. Galen made some too chocolatey brownies, Janet made a fabulous basket, and I got an apron that Kathy made that features a lovely floral print with very subtle skulls and flames. Oh, and it had a matching recipe card in the pocket!

We all spent the rest of the evening roaming around admiring each other’s work and drinking sangria. Nice.

Every year we try to find the perfect place to have the annual party. Years ago we had the party at our house and we served fondue and boxed wine. Our business has grown and the staff of 30+ is more than Galen and I can accommodate now and so we go out. It is easier (maybe) but I still think there is something very different about having folks into your home and cooking for them yourself. Not that that can realistically happen now, but I still miss it. We have been to fancy and not so fancy locales and usually have a good time with very little property damage. This gallery space with the comfy couches and food was perfect for this year. With two stores we are so often spread out. Folks at Panopolie rarely see the Ornamentea people and vice-versa. I see everyone but am usually bopping from store to store so I don't get to work alongside anyone for any amount of time. Being in one place is nice.

At some point every year I make a speech about how wonderful it is to work with all these women. I usually ramble on a bit and sometimes cry. It is hard to describe how tremendous it is to be surrounded by people who are all so talented in their own way and also work together on common creative goals. I guess there are lots of jobs out there where you can be in an environment like this but I still feel lucky to have one of them.