Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

Announcements at the end.

When I was working as Director of New Student Programs at Southern Methodist University, I remember hiring a woman to do a training session for my orientation directors.  The woman was an event planner for Frito Lay and I wanted her to talk to my staff about lessons she had learned along the way.

My staff, after all, were also planning events (orientation for over a thousand people) and ours needed to go every bit as smoothly as what she was planning for her Frito Lay executives.

She said two things I will always remember.  The first is more of a visual.  She gave each of my students a rubber duck and told them that, often times being an event planner is like being a duck.  Ducks, after all, can be furiously paddling their feet under water while looking calm and perfectly still on top of the water.  I like the whole visual of that and I often times remind myself of her observation when I am feeling frenzied.  "Be the duck."  You know.

The other thing she said is that to be an effective event planner, one must practice the art of movie making.  Begin at Act One, Take One and work your way - detail by detail - through the entire movie until the last letter of the last credit has rolled.  Of course you do this with a pad of paper in hand, jotting down notes of even the the tiniest missing details.  

Today I am a movie director.  Maybe you will be too.  We'll title this movie, "Christmas 2008."  Act one. Christmas morning.  Wake up to excited kids jumping on our bed, in Christmas pajamas, begging to go see what Santa brought.  Christmas pajamas in hand?  Check.  Have Richard make us coffee while kids are opening presents.  Coffee in stock?  Check.  Mosey into the kitchen, still watching them "oooh" and "ahhh" over their presents, while getting breakfast going.


Breakfast.  With all the shopping, wrapping, planning, and hosting, I haven't given a single thought to what our family will eat in just four short days.  Some kind of breakfast casserole?  Pancakes?  French Toast? Omelets? Homemade coffee cake?

Yikes.  Help!  What creative or yummy dishes will you be featuring on Christmas morning?  Share your award winning recipes.

  • Sugar Ray:  Texas, Ohio, New York... next stop... Pennsylvania.  Kristen has generously offered to host Baking Ray next.  She will bake a batch of Ray cookies, share them (and HLA) with cookie-loving friends in her hometown, and then ship Ray off to his next destination.  Maureen, I will forward Kristen's address to you.
  • First Annual Holiday "Give 'em the Boot Award": Last Friday the suggestion was made that Highlowaha readers share their best holiday saga with the rest of us, in hopes of winning temporary ownership of the coveted HLA ornament.  The winner will hang the purple cowboy boot on his/her tree next year and then pass it along to the next unlucky winner for Christmas 2010.  Stories will be shared on Friday, December 26.  Get ready.
  • Still in Search of Pregnant Woman Wanting to Party:  Kristen has volunteered to host a Baby Shower for Michelle (where are you?) and six other pregnant woman, planning to deliver this spring.  Please forward us the names of anyone you might know, so we may extend fun and formal invitation to our next virtual party.
  • Live in Texas?: We are still looking for the names of anyone who lives in the North Texas area, who might be willing to help welcome one of our reader's sister in law to Texas.  She is putting together a Texas themed tree and would like to share contact information for anyone willing.  Post your interest in the comment section and Kristen will follow up with you to get the information she needs.
  • Drink Coke:  Tis the season for hosting friends and family.  If you purchase cases of any Coke product, please be sure to pass along the Reward Number to Heather at  Remember, we are trying to collect as many Reward numbers as we can between now and February 14, in order to help a terminally sick friend of our loyal reader, Heather.
I desperately need to report to "make-up," so signing off until tomorrow...  

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