Rich red napkins folded neatly on tables. Carols played on a familiar accordion. Christmas trees decorated, lighted and festive in the corners. Outside the building it is crisp, and cool, but inside its warm both in temperature and in the hearts of the members. When you walk into this room, the sight of your friends, your family, your club makes it matter not where you are but who you are with and why.
This was my sight of the Club Christmas Party this year on Saturday, December 17 at the Bensalem Township Country Club.
This year for me was special to see the young members of our Cultural Group which include my son Michael put on the program for Christmas. As a club we are social, we take part in sports, and we dance. But our club does more than just folk and choreographed dances. Dating back to the Banater Männerchor theatricality has been part of our entertainment. So many of us in our youngest days in the Cultural Group have performed, sang, danced, acted, spoke, and put on the traditional Nativity Scene.
Contemporary public society has been secularized. But families that maintain their traditions in their own homes are stronger for it. The same can be said for clubs. The Club Christmas Party is our tradition, and that Nativity Scene, for me is what makes it special. The children taking part in that re-enactment give our members a few moments to reflect and remember the real reason we gather to celebrate Christmas. This year it was wonderful to have Erik Walter portray the baby Jesus!
The buffet dinner was hearty, well presented and very delicious. The servers and the bartenders at the event were helpful, friendly and good natured. Smiles were easy to see around the room throughout the party.
Thanks to Don Bitterlich for providing music, we enjoy quite well.
A highlight was when Santa Claus was able to find the time to stop in and spend some time with us! Our kids loved getting a chance to tell the big man in red what they wanted for Christmas. Many photos were taken this year of families along with Santa!
Some organizations have a children’s Christmas party just for their youngsters, and another or multiple parties for different sections of their club and those all can be nice. I’m happy, and lucky to say that the German Hungarians gather together for one Club Christmas Party where all are welcome, and we all know that our club is strongest when we are all together!
Merry Christmas to all our members, their families and their friends!
Michael N. Fricker
The featured images are courtesy of Joseph P. Hartmann