25 years ago, my wife and I decided to have a holiday party at our home, a Christmas party. It started as a small gathering of friends and coworkers. BYOB and we’d provide food, 25 years later what began as a few dozen grew into a few hundred, the final invite list topped 400 people. The largest gathering was the last and final year, 178 people attended throughout the evening.
There were years we only had 30 to 60 people attend because of weather and decisions made by our guests to attend other parties; but for 25 years we held strong in our belief to gather as friends and celebrate the season.
We had drunk years and as we age, not so much drinking but more coming just to gather and enjoy the season, giving thanks for good friends and to celebrate our lives and how time seems to go faster as we grow older, some more gracefully than others, some came early and stayed late, some came early and left early, but you came and we ate and drank and shared our lives and the year and years gone by.
There were years full of tears, laughter and beers, we grew to like wine and food and looked forward to sugar cookies with our names on them hung through the house. But most of all, we learned that we have become more than just coworkers, we became friends, family and share a love for one another, we all looked forward to the event of the Christmas season, the annual Krei party.
Our last was our best and we thank and love all of you that came for the first time or the 25th time, Michele and I renewed our vows and we looked in awe of what you all had come to anticipate and expect year after year. From the first year to the last, we thank you and we will miss you. We will miss preparing the house and food and we will dearly miss cleaning up after the last guest left.
Some years all Michele and I could give ourselves for Christmas was our party and we thank those of you that left so many gifts under our tree, our sacrifice was rewarded one hundred fold and we will forever recall and remember each memory with love and gratitude. Now it’s time for another to take hold of our tradition and we hope to see you, and we sincerely hope you continue a tradition, after all we all need each other and Michele and I need all of you.
Thank each and every one of you for your love and friendship, but most of all, thank you for showing up.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!
Kelly & Michele