×

First time here?

You are looking at the most recent posts. You may also want to check out older archives. Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting!

A bit of a diversion from tech…

When we first moved into our current neighborhood, my wife and I wanted to really change how we interacted with neighbors from our previous neighborhood (which was your typical, drive in the garage, close it before anyone sees you).  We lucked out with a great neighborhood and quickly made friends for both us and our kids.  My wife was even able to really form a tighter knit community around things for stay-at-home moms and a babysitting co-op.  It’s been real fun.

We decided the first year to host a holiday party.  Trying to navigate around people’s thoughts of holidays, company parties, and the general lameness that usually is holiday parties, we tried to be different.  Fans of Seinfeld, I liked the ‘Festivus’ idea and we latched on to that.  We decided the first Saturday in December would be our holiday party – if you could make it, great, if you can’t…sucks to be you.

Each year we basically did a reverse white-elephant (or yankee swap) party.  We also had a chili cook-off.  Each participant in the cook-off had a chance at the coveted golden ladle (which is a plastic cheap ladle spray painted gold of course).  We have 10 contestants, each voted on by the attendees to determine winners in each category.  It’s a lot of fun.  We also have prizes for ‘best dressed’ which actually means worst dressed (some classic examples here and here).  Heck even crazy Santa with his escort for the evening might show up after a rough night.  We also have historically made a party favor…here’s some shirts we’ve made (click on image for better picture):

FestivusShirt  fstv20061front Festivus 2008 Shirt design

Each person gets a raffle ticket which then becomes a game of ‘what’s behind bag number XXX’ – which can be anything from a portable urinal for traveling to a Nintendo Wii – there’s crap with the good.  Every couple leaves with *something* though.  The winner of the chili cook-off can steal any prize as well. 

Some people don’t like these types of parties based on themes.  That’s cool, whatever – people like different things.  We really just pick the name and don’t really do much of the Seinfeld-esque things anymore (we used to)…it’s our tradition, so phooey on you for not liking it.

This year we wanted to do something different (and were late planning).  We decided to create family experiences (Festivus is usually an adult-only party), so we decided ice skating in the desert!  Festivus on Ice was created and we invited our friends and their entire families if they chose.  No cook-off this year, no shirts, and no prizes for everyone.  We did still ask folks to dress in their ‘best’ – and some figured since it was a skate rink, they would dress the part.  The winners of the top three prizes did not disappoint:

The Winners for the Night

It was awesome.  And really great fun for the family (yes, my friend covered himself up after a while :-)).  We had no injuries and only one reported child crying.  After the microphone in the rink failed, the I am T-Pain application on my phone saved the day and added some Auto-Tune humor for my master-of-ceremonies commentaries throughout the night.  Here’s a summary of the evening:

We really love our friends and neighbors and have a great time being a part of our community.  Hopefully this might inspire some of you garage-closers to get to know your neighbors better and create experiences that you’ll remember for a long time.  We certainly do.  Thanks to all our friends for coming and celebrating Festivus with us.

Happy holidays to you…whatever holiday you may celebrate, religious or not.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


12/15/2009 12:08 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Funny to read this post :) nice video mockup with all those photo's but I'm wondering how you made it. So can you shed some light on the tools you used?
12/15/2009 12:40 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Ramon -- sorry, I should have mentioned that. I used Animoto (http://animoto.com) for the video. Normally I create my own, but for what Animoto does, it's hard to beat. You basically upload everything and music and it renders the items along with the tempo of the music -- it's quite fantastic. Slow song? slow animations. Upbeat tempo? faster animations and different effects. Check it out! (no I don't have a free account to be saying this -- but they do have a special right now for $30/year subscription) -- high quality DVD/MP4 cost $5 extra per movie, but worth it if you are handing out DVDs (like we did) -- download an ISO and burn.
12/15/2009 3:45 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
great posts, Happy Merry Festivus
12/16/2009 5:19 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Great work! Nice video especially with that "OWL City" background music ;-)
Gravatar
12/17/2009 8:15 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Entertaining post Tim, enjoyed it. I really like your blog layout and choice of theme. I was wondering which blogging platform do you use? Your site is always fast despite of such a heavy trafic, which hosting do you use?
12/17/2009 8:17 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Gravatar
12/17/2009 9:44 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thanks Tim, it is very helpful.
Gravatar
12/21/2009 10:02 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
I envy that neighborhood dynamic. Maybe things are different down in the QC. I know here in the southwestern part of Phoenix, things are very much the way you described in the first paragraph. Except I don't have to hide behind my garage door. The people in my neighborhood go out of their way to avoid acknowledging me even if I wave to them. hahaha

Anyway.. looks like you all had a great time. The costumes are priceless.

12/23/2009 11:24 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Great party with family, i love it.;)
12/30/2009 7:08 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Brilliant! Good to see you not as a Nerd but a family oriented guy. Have fun with family and friends - thats why we do all the other shit I guess :-)
1/29/2010 8:53 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Hi tim, thats great party. how about 2010 ?
11/3/2010 4:39 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
nice history,specially the last part!

roulette wheel
11/3/2010 4:43 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thanks for you sharing! We are the famous laptop adapter supplier and laptop battery supplier. Our main products are various rechargeable laptop battery and laptop adapter compatible with brand laptop
Fashion forums
11/19/2010 3:00 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
It's so funny, thank you. And your video is awesome, I'd enjoyed it.... Fortunately I have a good relationship to my neighborhood, too.
12/17/2010 10:25 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
This is the first time I am visiting this post.I have gathered much of it.Really a interesting firm things. Sample Banking Resume




2/22/2011 7:07 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thank You for the sharing. It is very useful.

Polnisch Übersetzer
3/1/2011 7:23 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
3/8/2011 8:48 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
It would be great to read something more concerning this theme. The only thing it would also be great to see on this blog is some pics of some gadgets.

arabisch deutsch übersetzung | dänisch deutsch übersetzung | finnisch deutsch übersetzung
3/21/2011 2:23 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thanks to all our friends for coming and celebrating e visit f visit g visit h visit
3/21/2011 2:27 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
neighborhood and quickly made friends for both us and our kids i visit j visit k visit l visit
3/21/2011 2:38 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
We decided the first year to host a holiday party m visit n visit o visit p visit
3/21/2011 2:48 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
company parties, and the general lameness that usually u visit v visit w visit x visit
3/21/2011 2:56 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
is holiday parties, we tried to be different y visit z visit aa visit ab visit
3/21/2011 3:00 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Fans of Seinfeld, I liked the ‘Festivus’ idea and we latched on to that. ac visit ad visit ae visit af visit
3/21/2011 3:03 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
We decided the first Saturday in December would ag visit ah visit ai visit aj visit
3/21/2011 3:08 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
be our holiday party – if you could make it, great ak visit al visit am visit an visit
3/21/2011 3:14 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Each year we basically did a reverse white-elephant (or yankee swap) party ao visit ap visit aq visit ar visit
3/21/2011 3:23 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
We also had a chili cook-off. Each participant in the cook-off as visit at visit au visit av visit
3/21/2011 3:27 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
had a chance at the coveted golden ladle which is a plastic cheap ladle spray painted gold of course aw visit ax visit ay visit az visit
3/21/2011 3:31 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
We have 10 contestants, each voted on by the attendees ba visit bb visit bc visit bd visit
3/21/2011 3:34 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
to determine winners in each category be visit bf visit bg visit bh visit
3/21/2011 3:37 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
It’s a lot of fun. We also have prizes for bi visit bk visit bl visit bm visit
3/21/2011 3:40 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
best dressed which actually means worst dressed bn visit bo visit bp visit bq visit
3/21/2011 3:44 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
some classic examples here and here Heck br visit bs visit bt visit bu visit
3/21/2011 3:58 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
even crazy Santa with his escort for the evening might bv visit bw visit bx visit by visit
3/21/2011 4:01 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
how up after a rough night bz visit ca visit cb visit cc visit
3/21/2011 4:19 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
a party favor…here’s some shirts we’ve made click on image for better picture cd visit ce visit cf visit cg visit
3/21/2011 4:23 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
and the general lameness that usually is holiday parties, we tried cd visit
3/30/2011 6:19 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
interesting article from you my friend regards,Lisa
4/9/2011 7:56 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Really gripping magistrate. Ratio has been scrawled in racquet municipality concern. I sensibility mensuration this harmless of rob. Thanks for collection saintlike noesis.
birthday greetings
4/10/2011 10:06 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
way from tech stories. It certainly is an ice breaker. Anyways, the photos reflect happiness and contentment. ch visit ci visit cj visit
4/10/2011 10:22 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Trying to navigate around people’s thoughts of holidays, company parties, and the general lameness that usually is holiday parties ck visit cl visit cm visit cn visit
4/10/2011 10:26 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
We decided the first Saturday in December would be our holiday party – if you could make it, great, if you can’t…sucks to be you co visit cp visit cq visit cs visit
4/10/2011 10:32 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
quickly made friends for both us and our kids. My wife was even able to really form a tighter knit community around things ct visit cu visit cv visit
Gravatar
4/10/2011 11:52 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thank You for the sharing. It is very useful. Imprägnierung
4/15/2011 3:05 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
It looks really funny. Computer Service Goeppingen
4/24/2011 11:47 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
I would be enounce thankful if you fix with wellborn what you are entertainer starboard now with your particle...I gymnastic enjoyed it...and i rale run to you for this....its e'er line to wee so....Thanks for methodicalness!!!
5/5/2011 2:47 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
Thanks for sharing your experience. It's really great to have good neighbours, to understand with each other, to spend time together, and when it comes to help, also to help each other. By the way, nice pics:) It look like you had a lot of fun.
Fachübersetzer,
fachübersetzungen
Gravatar
5/9/2011 10:00 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Really gripping magistrate. Ratio has been scrawled in racquet municipality concern. I sensibility mensuration this harmless of rob. Thanks for collection saintlike noesis.Pflasterfugenmörtel
6/2/2011 1:45 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
A great experience. I like the pics and video clips. Hope you have more such experiences.

Golf Simulator
7/2/2011 12:15 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Very nicely written post it contains useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. like some of the comments too though would prefer we all stay on the subject in order add value to the subject.

clubmz espy
7/17/2011 6:20 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Completing term papers work is complicated for every single university student, just because it depends on personal writing ability. Nevertheless, I heard that custom term papers writing service used to be able to aid with any assignment. Hence, I opine, this is worth to try it. Life cycle of a frog
8/1/2011 9:34 AM | # re: Festivus 2009
Completing term papers work is complicated for every single university student, just because it depends on personal writing ability. Nevertheless, I heard that custom term papers writing service used to be able to aid with any assignment. Hence, I opine, this is worth to try it.
Round Rock Window Contractor
10/18/2012 7:27 PM | # re: Festivus 2009
washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. contact us
washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

 
Please add 5 and 1 and type the answer here:

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions/content expressed on this blog are provided "ASIS" with no warranties and are my own personal opinions/content (unless otherwise noted) and do not represent my employer's view in any way.