And now, back to last week’s Sandbar Christmas party,
because I know you’re all just dying to hear about the crazy costumes and the
gift exchange extravaganza.

 We started the new tradition of wearing our best Christmas
attire at last year’s party. It seems like everyone is starting to have some
version of the tacky Christmas sweater party, but even if it’s becoming
overdone it’s still a good time. We all had so much fun laughing at everyone
else that we’ve decided to keep doing it.

441364104_sandbar christmas party_0070Dave, of course, had to be different- he pulled out his
well-used Elf costume (made himself, with a combination of sewing and hot
glue). Coleen found a lovely Christmas tree sweater that she actually used to
wear out on the family’s Christmas tree farm. It helped to sell lots of
Christmas trees. Danny recycled last year’s sweater, which was recycled from
Christmas long ago.

 Mike and Kalissa were in the running early in the night for
the grand prize when they showed up in matching home-decorated sweaters,
complete with a photo of themselves and the words “Holiday Bliss Forever.” It doesn’t
get much better than that…but it did.

 Former staffer Tyler arrived in a slim-fitting women’s
sweater, complete with a Christmas tree and a hole in the back, probably from
the moths inhabiting whatever dark hole he pulled the sweater from. Erick, who
told us last year that his mom bought him and the siblings new holiday sweaters
every year and therefore should have lots to choose from, showed up in regular

 Joe’s patient girlfriend let him borrow her grandmother’s
short mink coat, complete with dangling pom-poms and the price tag intact. And
Jen arrived straight from the Lawrence Welk holiday special. She even had a
Christmas corsage.

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 But our big winner of the night, based on audience applause,
was Blair. He was decked in Christmas boxers, a matching plaid Santa hat, and a
whimsical reindeer themed shirt.Unfortunately, the winning part of his costume also prevents me from posting a picture of it here.

 It was fitting that Blair won the grand prize. What did he
win? The movie “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” which in Sandbar
gift-giving tradition had Chris and Blair’s faces Photoshopped onto the

Tomorrow: A look back at some the night's best gifts.