(Please note that this blog was written the night of the party which was on December 21st)
Tonight, was our Staff Meal & Party!
There were 29 employees invited for an evening full of fun, games, food, and laughter! The party started at 5pm and didn’t finish up until 11pm.
There are very few opportunities in Haiti where you get to don your best clothes, attend a fancy meal surrounded by the most beautiful ambiance, AND leave with gifts in hand!
Malaya and I spent SEVERAL days decorating for the party. This year we decided to host the party in my children’s renovated school-room. Usually we do it in our house, but it’s always very crowded.
We also thought it might be nice to just use the colors – blue and white… to create a winter wonderland! (We even added a fake fireplace screen saver to the TV!
THE TABLE SETTING:
At each place setting
- 1-There was a sugar cookie with their name on it. (Made by Malaya)
- 2-There was also a little side dish of: Reece cups, kisses, and mini candy bars. (We bring them in from the states every year.)
- 3-There was also a little envelope with money hidden inside of it. (They just didn’t know it)
The last 2 days our campus has smelled like a 4-star food court! LOL! The food prepared for tonight – wraps around the counters like a beautiful ribbon! Besides the usual staples like rice, beans, & pasta… we also had salads, vegetables, chicken, goat, little lobster tails, & shrimp,
We filled up our bellies, threw-up a little, and kept going!! The joke is that we have to try everything even if you are full!
When we do feedings on campus, 90% of our guests will save the food to take home to their family. This is why we make sure that we double-up every plate. It is a rewarding feeling – knowing that 1 invite – means many will get something to eat that day.
However, my core staff deserve to fill-up guilt free. They deserve to savor every single bite from that bountiful plate in front of them. It’s a plate full of foods that they don’t get to experience except every December at our parties.
So the rule is simple, no food can be taken home – which takes away all that internal pressure. In fact, If they clean their plate & get seconds – I give them a prize! It’s become one of their favorite games! LOL!
THE SANTA REVEAL:
Our first activity was the SECRET SANTA REVEAL!
Everyone drew a name the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Because we know that purchasing a meaningful gift would be a financial strain, we always give them money to do so. AND…because everyone knows how much money they have to spend, it holds each person accountable to spending the whole amount on their person!
Besides purchasing a gift, they also have to perform an act of kindness WITHOUT getting caught. Examples: sweeping the cafeteria before the janitor arrives so he has less work, leaving cokes at the gate for the security who work at night, folding clothes, doing dishes, babysitting, etc.
The best part of this activity is that you can NOT be found out. Let’s pretend Jose drew Pierre’s name and wants to deliver the gift. He sets up the “delivery line”.
THE SECRET CHAIN: He tells Momma Gigi to pass the gift to Elirose. He told Elirose to expect a gift from Momma Gigi and just give it to Bena. He tells Bena to give it to Celavie. Celavie knows to leave it on Pierre’s porch. Because of the “chain of giving” – – nobody knows who started with the gift. So Pierre still has no clue who gave it to him and the chain only knows who had the package before they did.
EVERYONE does it – and I’ve seen a gift passed through 15 people before!! HILARIOUS!
Why do they take it so serious? Because there is MONEY at stake! Typically, when we do something that involves a secret – everyone cheats. They try to work together so they can get ahead. BUT with this game, working together can cause you to be found out. !
The day before the party, each staff member tells me who they think had their name. The results are revealed at the party…one by one.
So I will Say: Pierre thinks that Jose has his name. Let’s see if he is right. Will Pierre’s secret Santa stand-up? Then the Secret Santa tells everyone exactly what they did for their person. Everyone yells & laughs when the person guesses wrong.
We ended the evening with our own version of “SQUID GAMES”. We played 8 games total. Everyone played at least one of the games because we drew names for each round.
OUR VERSION OF SQUID GAMES:
These were the games we took from the movie. We showed short clips from the movie before we started each round. I had a nerf gun to shoot players as they began to lose!
GAME 1: We played Red-Light Green Light just like they did in the movie. I used the gun to shoot players if they did not stand still during RED LIGHT.
GAME 2: We played the Sugar Honeycomb Game. Four players were given tins that included either a triangle, an umbrella, a star, or a circle.. The goal of that game was to use a “needle” to punch out the shape WITHOUT the shape.
Game 3: We played tug of war.
Game 4: We played Hopscotch. We arranged several stepping stones that they had to cross. If you stepped on the wrong one you were shot and out of the game!
NON SQUID GAMES:
GAME 5: We didn’t have a marble game to play. Instead, we played the Fast Sling Puck Game. It’s a wooden game with 2 square sides and only ONE little slot in the middle. You have to try to get your pucks through that slot before your opponent does.
GAME 6: We played DINO CRUNCH. With this game there is a little dinosaur that moves around with his mouth open and you have to shoot balls in his mouth.
GAME 7: We played “golf” corn hole. Instead of throwing beanbags, you had to “putt” the ball into the holes.
GAME 8: We played another glow in the dark game where you had to throw balls into a different baskets worth different points.
Prizes were awarded each round!
Everyone left with a full belly, money, prizes,
and an evening of memories that they still talk about today!