We had our team Christmas party Tuesday night at Derek’s house. I was running around at the last minute picking up gifts. It was a busy day, because we had our Belmont Staff Christmas breakfast that morning. The breakfast is one of my favorite events at Belmont. Because of the daily grind, there are very few times when you feel appreciated or valuable. The Christmas breakfast is one of those times. Dr. Fisher and his staff put together a program and a menu that expresses gratitude and the spirit of the season.
Dr. Fisher gives service awards (bonuses) to employees who are celebrating 5 year anniversaries. I had run around the athletic department telling people that I was going to get my 5 year award at the breakfast. I was unhappy when he didn’t call my name. Then I was just plain embarrassed when I learned that even though it was my 5th fall soccer season and my 5th Christmas breakfast, I had not reached my 5 year anniversary because my start date was April 1, 2005. Oh well. Next year.
Later that day, I met a recruit and her parents for lunch. I spent more time with them than I had planned. That is par for the course with me and recruits. I forgot that I had not picked up part of the team Christmas gift, so I ended up having to go to a different store than I had planned. I think it all worked out in the end.
I had prepared most of the food the night before. It is traditional for me to make spinach dip and layered dip. This was the 2nd year in a row that I made meatballs, pizza dip, and cinnamon apple cider. I’m glad I can count on someone else to make desserts. This year, Michelle (our trainer) and Gail (Derek’s wife) made cookies and people puppy chow.
After we eat, the girls exchange gifts. They drew names in November and set a price limit. No big surprises this year. A few less scarves than last year. Dani’s gift was wrapped in Tim Tebow wrapping paper. Derek and Kyle got Tennessee and Notre Dame slippers. I guess I will allow that. They just won’t be able to wear them on the bus. The team gave me a Gore-Tex hat which I could have used the weekend prior when I was recruiting in the sleet and snow. They also followed tradition by making a calendar for my office. I love my soccer calendars. It is a 2010 calendar with pictures from 2009. I like the monthly reminders of previous teams, players, successes, and memories.
One thing we did this year for the first time was have a theme – Christmas sweaters. Some of the girls borrowed Christmas sweaters from their moms. Some of the freshmen made their own homemade Christmas sweatshirts. There were layers, crazy socks, hats, and some out of style fashions. As usual, the team ran with the idea and took the theme to the next level!
Just a few things left to do until Christmas break – senior ring presentation, exams, and graduation.