New Traditions

On Monday, the 112-year-old Social Literary Circle celebrated the holiday season with its annual Christmas party. Fourteen women who desired intellectual engagement organized the club on Nov. 4, 1901 — few women then were afforded the opportunity to get college degrees. The group’s first minutes described the circle as “a society for sociability and enhancement.”

What’s not to like about that? I have been a member since 2006.

By tradition, the holiday party is hosted at the president’s home. This year, the S. Alvord Boulevard address of the hostess was swept free of snow by her husband and helping neighbors.

This club is nothing like Bunco clubs — we do not drink at meetings; our bylaws state wine may be served at the holiday party, and we all enjoy that.

The protocol for the holiday meeting is: Attach a poem, a favorite Christmas memory, or a favorite family tradition to your gift bag. Place them both in a plain brown paper bag. (Oops, mine was white.)

Arriving at noon, we enjoy wine and social time first.  Then, an always-delicious meal is served. Sometimes, hostesses arrange for a bit of catering help in the kitchen. On Monday, we enjoyed a great chicken casserole, spiced pears topped with something good, and rum cake.

After lunch, we gather around for roll call and our program, which at this special meeting is the gift exchange. We each draw numbers. The poems are read, and we try to guess whom the gift is from; and the gifts are opened. Our members are very talented; the submissions are creative, thoughtful, nostalgic, and fun. Mine this year? A page from my baby book, Christmas 1965. I was 1 ½ and my mother wrote that I told Santa I wanted, “Bike! Baby! Horsey!” She wrote that I got all three!

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