I remember, when I was young, having people come to our house every single year for a New Year party. My dad, who is a musician, and my mom, who is a great cook, like having people over for great meals and some karaoke action :) But somehow, over the years, this tradition has faded. As with any family, there were household issues. We all got older. My parents' health was not what it used to be. I moved away. Simply, life just got in the way.
So when my friend Rob, my ex-roommate turned brother from Australia, asked if it was too much trouble to stop by and see my parents on his visit to Bangkok, I was more than thrilled. Too much trouble?
In fact, I thought I'd inject some fun and turn this occasion into a party. I knew my dad would love to have some buzz and energy around the house. And my mom would love to cook.
Sure enough, when I told her the idea, she had the menu in mind within 10 seconds. I actually needed to stop her from going overboard.
Another person who was excited for the event is my 13 year-old-niece. She was born to create and capture pretty things and has a raw talent for photography. Case in point, the picture above and some of the below were captured by her. Throwing a party meant she got to help us cook, decorate and take pictures, all of which she loves to do.
I called over my extended family for a special night. Joining us were Dimps and Tania. We worked together in Bangkok and have become the closest of friends over the past decade. Dimps now lives in the Philippines, but she flew over just to visit us for a few days (heart).
I also invited Jenny & Guglielmo. If people come into your life for a reason, I think Jenny & "Elmo" came into ours to help us make London a home. They are THE reason we managed to settle down in London so quickly and so smoothly. They decided to move back to Bangkok just a month ago.
During the party, Rob said "It doesn't matter how long you're apart from each other. Great friends can pick things back up as if they last saw each other yesterday." That is very true.
It was a special day for our family. My little brother also invited his friends over the same evening. So the night became one giant party. Once again, our house was filled with A LOT of food and some fun (and funny) music was played. As I looked around, I felt so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing family and friends.
At one point during the night, my mom walked over to me and said "your dad is happy." I smiled and asked her "what about you?"
"Very happy" she replied.
I knew why they were so happy. It's not about the party. Nor is it about the music or the food. It has never been. They are happy because they get to see everyone they love once again, all in one place, under their very own roof - to enjoy each other's company and have a grand time.