There are parties.
There are epic parties.
And there are epic bookish parties. Those are the best kind, you know. ;)
So my friends in Goodreads and I have been planning our third meet-up / Christmas party since November. The last official meet-up was in July and while there has been many smaller meet-ups and dinners and movies and drinking sessions in between, it’s been a long time since we all saw each other and met some newbies together as a group. However, everyone seemed to be busy up until December (my brother’s wedding and NaNoWriMo ate my life late October to early December), so we settled on the weekend right before Christmas.
And man did that day take too long to arrive. I was excited because it’s been a long time since I had a very bookish meet-up, and I’ve just really missed my friends from Goodreads. I missed them so much that I committed to spend the entire day with them, declining invitations to five other parties on that same day. Yes, five, and yes, our parties/meet-ups in Goodreads tend to last the entire day. :P
So despite the stress of the shopping, exhaustion from commuting and all that, I arrived at UP Ayala Technohub all chipper and excited to see old and new faces from our band of bookworms. :)
And imagine the smile of those bookworms with these many books are up for grabs:
Book heaven? Probably. :D
We had our lunch at Kanin Club (omg crispy dinuguan! So sinful!!!), all wearing our fancy hats and talking about books and Christmas and issues and all that. After all the people involved in the Kris Kringle has arrived, we started revealing our mommies and daddies and I proved two things:
- I spoil Aaron like the little brother I think he is — He was my Santee for the Holiday Swap, and surprises, I got him too for this exchange gift. I asked for an exchange from our moderator, but since he already picked the others, he can’t exchange mine. I didn’t mind, really. Aaron is easy to get a book for since he has well-established wish list and we have similar tastes in books. :P
- My hunch for who got me was correct – I almost always have a hard time guessing who got me during Kris Kringle without the process of elimination, but after some clues, I had a hunch. Aaron had a hunch about my hunch, and I had a hunch about his hunch about my hunch…and that is a whole lot of hunches. Which all turned out right.
In the end, the three of us gave gifts to each other. In Aaron’s terms, we’re the “retarded trinity”:
After the gift giving and our first round of Pinoy Henyo (which I lost again, too bad. One day I will win that game) and hanging out at Kanin Club (and getting scolded for being so noisy), we moved to Starbucks to spend the rest of the afternoon and play more games. Prizes are first picks for the books, and so competition was very, very fierce. It has to be bookish games, of course, like a book covering contest.
And the never-ending charades.
After playing games, we hung out as one big group and talked. About everything under the sun. And books. And books. And love teams. And polls. And books. Oh, and did I say books?
Pic spam on the way~
After Starbucks, we went to Razon’s to continue more conversation and have dinner. We talked about our ever-growing TBRs, resolutions for next year, recommended books and some rather personal stuff especially for the people who are put on spotlight. ^^ Hee. Some of our friends who couldn’t make it at the party (Jam, who was out of the country and Ranee, who had conflicts with work schedules — we miss you both!) even made their presence known via phone patch, and it was just like they were in the party. :) Some people left after that, and we stayed there for a while until Razon’s closed, and then we capped the night off at Cafe Breton as per tradition with the first two meet-ups.
By this time, the remaining party-goers are very, very tired and even coffee wasn’t helping. But we just can’t leave yet. We still have so many things to talk about!
But alas, we must leave. When Cafe Breton started closing, we had to leave and start saying goodbye. We went our separate ways home, and crashed onto our beds, waking up the next day to find out that we all have the biggest post-party non-alcoholic hangovers in the history of all Goodreads meet-ups. Okay, maybe that was just me, I’m not sure about the others. But I definitely missed them all that soon.
It was an epic party, not because we had fancy stuff or had a lot of activities. There was no program, there weren’t any fancy prizes (save for brand new books), but we all had a great time. There’s only one thing that made this party very successful, and I think everyone will agree: it’s the company. When you’re with kindred spirits, it’s hard not to have fun and feel at home. :)
And here are the obligatory pictures of the Christmas party loot (Cookie Monster doll not included — I got that one early last week, just thought it’d be cute to include in the pictures):
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (from Aaron), Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (from Ace), Trese # 2: Unreported Murders and Trese # 3: Mass Murders by Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo (from Ariel), Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (from Kuya Doni)
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, Buddha Baby by Kim Wong Keltner, Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louise de Bernières, Black Graphic Novel: The Birth of Evil by Ted Dekker
It’s kind of an understatement if I say that it was a fun day, right? Till next meet-up! (And please, let that be soon!) :)