Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maltese Christmas Event

Last night was the annual Maltese American Social Club Women's Committee Christmas Dinner and Gift Exchange - phew, that was mouthful. It was so nice to see all the ladies dressed in their various adorned holiday sweaters and jewelry. I have never known people to have so many Christmas themed pieces of clothing and accessories. It was incredible. When I first entered the club the men were at the bar (as usual) and the Christmas music was so loud I had to talk even louder than I normally do. For those of you who don't know, us Maltese are pretty loud. Sometimes people think we are yelling when we are not. Imagine about 50 Maltese Women talking with about a million decibels of Bing Crosby all in one room. The Grinch that stole Christmas must have unloaded everything he stole and set it up at the club. It was Scrooge's nightmare for sure.

It was a feast as always - we started with bread and salad, then came the main entrees which were large plates with roast beef, green beans and roasted potatoes on them. Following all this was not just one dessert, but three! There was a orange sort of fluffy, jello like dessert with fruit on top (Mom, I think this was "Fluff" ha ha). After that most of us got up to move around a bit, digest and get coffee (or more wine in my case) with the coffee they served panettone. Dishes were cleared and then clean up began (thanks to the men who were there). The meeting was about to start but no, wait, here comes a sheet cake the size of Camino (the smallest of the Maltese islands, but large for a cake). Not just any cake, a cake with a Happy Holidays message across the top large enough for everyone to read. The inscription was surround with sugary sweet frosting flowers in the brightest edible red I have ever seen. I was praying for an end piece, seriously, that would send me over the edge but in a funny way. Between the wine and the food I was fading and needed a boost and with the sugar content of the cake I might just end up staying and cleaning up afterwards because I would be so hyper there is no way I could go home and sleep, plus we still had the meeting and gift exchange to sit through and it was 8:45 PM. As my luck would have it, I got a small middle piece and then split it with Lucy next to me since we were both rolling our eyes at the thought of eating more, but also did not want to offend so we dug in. If it weren't for the carrots and raisins in the cake, it would have been all sugar. I think I have mentioned it before, but all dietary rules and limitations must be thrown out the door at the Maltese Club or offence could be taken or you will be the talk of the town. Generally, I don't eat the meat, but eat around it and no one seems to notice.

Finally, the meeting started - it was a quick one since people were yawning and wanting to get on with the gifts. As usual, everyone drew numbers and picked their gift in order of the number that they had chosen. I didn't do the gift exchange this time around but watched everyone open their gifts. The last two years people have had to open their gift in front of the group and then they say thank you to the person who gave it, etc. but this time because everyone was tired, they just went up in order and grabbed a gift. The ones that I saw opened were; wind chimes, wine glasses, vintage looking Santa statue, snack dishes made of glass that looked like train cars and Christmas themed platter and bowl. It was fun! For me, it is not about the gifts, but the fellowship and talking with these amazing women who most of them came to America with nothing but a fist full of dollars and a dream. The topic of discussion last night at our end of the table was a little racy and since my last Maltese Club Christmas post was on Wired Malta (12/23/07), I would rather not post that information. I love these ladies and can't wait to spend more time with them in 2009.

PS - They are all trying to get me to be the Secretary for the Club, I am not ready for that now though. I might fill in a little this year and see what happens.

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