The annual holiday party hosted by PPTC was one of the first events that Ben and I attended when we became members late last year. Last year we wore matching holiday shirts that we got from It’s a Wonderful Run 5K, a fun little Christmas-themed run around the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This year I brought out my fabric glue and my mad DIY skills (I’m not actually that crafty – I’m good enough at copying when given photos and a set of instructions to follow. Don’t ask me to come up with anything original. I can’t do it.) to make us some Christmas outfits.
Ben graciously donated an old sweater for me to glue Christmas wrapping bows in the shape of a Christmas tree. Originally I planned having three rows and a stem, but Ben said it didn’t look like anything other than a lopsided diamond. So I added a fourth row and another bow underneath to make a longer stem. Now there was a Christmas tree!
As for me, I made a Christmas bow skirt. I browsed on Google to see what kind of horribly tacky Christmas sweater I could make easily, when I came across this Christmas bow skirt. I thought it was perfect. It could be made cheaply and easily. I found a red skirt that was on sale, bought a big bag of Christmas bows, and a red tinsel garland, and got to work with my fabric glue. I forgot to take a photo of my entire outfit, so you’ll have to make do with a glimpse of my skirt in the photo with East Coast Appetite, who brought her party pants to the party. I glued bows all over the front and used the red tinsel garland to tie a bow around my waist. Then I topped off the outfit with a couple of bells around the garland, so when I shook, I “jingled all the way.” I loved my outfit.
On the way to the party at Branch Ofc, Ben kept on asking me if this was really an Ugly Christmas Sweater party or if it was a terrible joke that I was playing on him. I reassured him that it was indeed an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. He was rather dubious. When we arrived at the bar, at first we didn’t see anyone wearing an ugly Christmas sweater and Ben almost revolted. Luckily I spotted Jay and said, “Look, an ugly Christmas sweater!” Then more people arrived with their festive sweaters (there were even tacky Hanukkah sweaters).
There were a ton of food (savory and sweet) at the party. Branch Ofc makes a mean hot toddy, Dutch Courage, that I highly recommend. And on Tuesdays, the hot toddies are only $5. When we found out the the holiday party was happening at Branch Ofc, we were ecstatic because it’s actually our local bar. The party was held at Branch Ofc because the owners of the bar are the daughter and son-in-law of the president of PPTC. Hopefully this means more events at Branch Ofc.
At the party, there’s a white elephant gift exchange. Gifts are supposed to be around $20 and running-elated. I came away with a pair of YakTrax that I desperately wanted last year (but it got stolen from me). This year, victory! It’s always interesting to see which gifts are the “hot” ones that get stolen. YakTrax are always popular, but this year a nice pair of gloves were highly sought after.
I like hanging out with my teammates in a non-running capacity (I like hanging out with them in a running capacity too, but this was a nice change of pace). We talked about future races and goals. Sometimes we even talked about non-running things, but it quickly went back to running. And because it was a party organized by runners for runners, it started early at 4 pm and ended early at 8 pm, so we all got to go home at a reasonable hour so we could sleep and go running in the morning.