Today I was hostess for our monthly Red Hat luncheon. I chose Liberatore's, a very nice Italian restaurant in Westminster. Originally I had 18 attendees, but through one medical problem and another too-busy-and-overbooked, we had 16 who were there. Since our group has been together monthly since 2003, we have become close and really enjoy seeing each other. It's become our tradition to have little favors, a gift for anyone whose birthday is that month, door prizes, table arrangements, i.e. potted plants, a Friendship Ball filled with some small treasure or candy for the next month's hostess, and a contribution to our basket that will be given away at Christmas. This year the basket is a Gardening Basket. My contribution was a bulb planting tool kit with a bulb hole digger, a gardening spade and some fertilizer mix. In previous years we've had a Wine Basket, a Spa Basket, a Tea basket, a Christmas Wreath, and a Decorated Red Hat. The items really add up in 12 months and make a really terrific win to one lucky person. Last year it was the Wine Basket, and wouldn't you know it - it was won by a woman who doesn't drink!
June is the one month of the year that is no one's birthday, so I decided to have a gift for each member. I have quite a few new or like new gift items in my stash, and pulled out 15 things that I thought would be nice door prizes. These ranged from several books, a Red Hatter teddy bear, Neutrogena sun block, scented candles, recipe cards, a personal battery charged fan, and similar items. All were wrapped and in gift bags. No one realized until almost everyone's name had been pulled that everyone was getting a gift, including the 4 African Violets that were the centerpieces on the table. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed happy with the gifts.
At the end, I collected everyone's money and when I tallied the count, I came up short by about $20, and couldn't figure out what the problem was. Everyone was concerned and they started turning in extra dollars until it dawned on me what the problem was. I shouted WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! I FORGOT TO PAY MY OWN BILL!! Everyone had a big laugh and all the extra dollars were handed back. It was so funny. I tend to be a ditz at times, and I think even more so as I get older. Anyway, all was fine and the day turned out very well. I'm glad that it's all behind me. For the next 20 months or so.