The Dining Divas Delight in Christmas, Make Blankets For Our Military Overseas

  DINING DIVAS members Alecia Berens, Pat Lindsey, Carol Solimando, Ashley Bengston, Re Mormino Weed, Marilee Krantz.  In front is Lisa Kampeter who writes the monthly column. The girls are wrapped up in their blankets they created to donate to troops overseas as part of Operation Homefront. Several  other members of the Divas were not able to attend the holiday party that  was hosted by  columnist Lisa Kampeter.

The Dining Divas Delight in Christmas

 Make Blankets For Our Military Overseas

The Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

At one point, I actually thought that I could have written this before the Dining Divas outing this December.  Every year, it’s similar.  We eat, drink, and are merry at a Diva home.  Every year, we play an ugly game of “rob your neighbor” and someone leaves with a great gift, and the rest of us leave with envy and plenty of presents to “donate” again.  Every year, we shower each other with small acts or gifts of kindness and motivation.  Every year, we join together to celebrate the Christmas season and glory in our friendships.  But this year was not like every year.

This year, we missed the Occasional Divas.  This year, the Outgoing Diva had become the Missing Diva as sadness had kept her from joining us the last few months.  As she dealt with the loss of a parent, we prayed for her to find peace and for us to have our friend return to our outings.  Every other year, she would have been delighted to join in the celebration, but this year, she wasn’t herself.  We were so grateful she joined us and were glad to see her big smile and strong laugh return.

This year, the Divas Christmas Party fell on the same day as the tragedy in Newtown.  It was tough for all of us to get into a festive mood.  In place of the Christmas music playing in the background, we turned on the TV to find out the latest reports.  The  Stay-At-Home Diva shared the minute-by-minute news she’d been following throughout the day.  The Educator Diva struggled as we discussed “what if”.  Feelings of disbelief and sorrow surrounded us.  And guilt.  Should we be celebrating at this time?

Tragic events like these remind us how lucky we are and make us even more grateful.  How lucky we are to have had each other to lean on as we discussed the heartbreaking outcome of the day.

And still, we ate too much and some of us drank too much, as we always do.  Eventually we’ll get this Divas Christmas dinner right and only eat dessert as we’re always too full from the main course to enjoy the sweets.

And still, we played “rob your neighbor”.  If I hadn’t witnessed the game myself, I would have assumed a couple participants cheated as they always seem to have a pile of gifts in front of themselves.   The mound of excessive gifts are thanks to the Charitable Diva who seems to clean out her garage every year before the party and brings bags of “fabulous” gifts.  Somehow the “not-so-appropriate” or “god-awful” gifts end up in a Diva front yard.

And still, we treated each other with special little presents and words of compassion and friendship.  As well, we continued our “charitable” aspect of the evening, a tradition we’ve done for years.  This year, the Dining Divas created beautiful blankets that we like to think of as “masterpieces.”  We helped each other complete a pile of them to donate to the military through Operation Homefront.

As we worked on the blankets, the Attention-Deficit Diva stopped paying attention after about five minutes.  The Draw-Me-A-Picture Diva complained that there were too many rules to making them.  And the Perfectionist Diva made the rest of us look lame as she so swiftly and artistically completed her part of the project.

And still, it was fun.  On such a tragic day, what a way to end it!  And we can wait for next year.




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