tonight we had our ward christmas party... an international "destination" christmas. there were a group of stalls around the rec hall with selected countries (featured were australia, england, new zealand, the united states of america, argentina, chile and samoa) and of course i was given samoa (due to my husbands heritage) along with my friend florence who is samoan... and our friend brenda kindly chipped in to help. as people arrived for the evening, they were directed through "customs" where their canned food was confiscated (going to the annual foodbank for people in need over the christmas period), they were given a passport and watched a safety video, before being escorted into the main hall by the air hostesses (our wards young women).
each stall then provided a sample of their national food options (yes... we had chop suey, made lovingly by the girls today while i was out high tea-ing with my girlfriends. legends!) and had some items from their country on display and some music playing in the background. it was such a cool idea and there was lots of questions, comments and satisfied munching. people were also encouraged to wear their national dress and i scored when brenda turned up to our house last night with a puletasi (the samoan dress i am rocking in the above picture). it's the first time i have ever worn one but i loved it... was super cute. maddie is obsessed with hers (was a gift for her before she was even born) and couldn't wait to put it on. doug's shirt is a 'toa samoa' rugby shirt that we purchased in samoa... and baby joseph was rocking his tribal print shirt from the flea market in apia.
then came the incredible part of the evening... the organisers had arranged for everyone to make their way out into the back lot for 'carols by templelight'. we are so blessed to have it right there in our backyard, and to sing sacred carols in its light was just beautiful and something none of us will forget in a hurry. 'twas a great night!
our little set up, complete with my carved nativity and fale from our recent trip to samoa