Division B’s Annual Christmas Party

by Becky McGilton, DTM, PDD

Forty years ago, while serving in the military, I developed a passion for providing opportunities for people to get together and socialize. I took it upon myself to open my home to those who wanted to enjoy a home-cooked meal, time with friends, and the opportunity to have companionship during the holidays. We always enjoyed these get-togethers, watching single airmen who were far away from their homes and families, having fun with little surprises and pranks. When I separated from the military, my passion did not go away, and wherever I lived, my house was always open to those who needed a place to go for the holidays.

I became involved with Toastmasters in 2008, and I opened my home to the First Division B Christmas Party in 2010. Christmas has been my favorite time of the year, and since I have no immediate family close by, I looked forward to spending that time with my Toastmasters family.

Not knowing this would become an annual event, it started with me just wanting to give members of my clubs an opportunity to socialize outside of our regular club meetings and further build personal relationships.

The first event was well attended, and we had lots of fun. The white elephant gift exchange was a big hit and gave us an opportunity to practice Table Topics while opening each wrapped gift. A couple of years ago, I ended up opening at least seven gifts because everyone kept “stealing” them from me.

I always extend the invite to current and past district trio members. Some come regularly; others come when they can. Some even reserve my spare room well in advance so they can enjoy themselves without having to drive home afterward.

This has remained the practice each year, just like on December 9, 2023, when the 12th Annual Division B Christmas Party took place (we had to skip “the COVID year”). As usual, I had a full house, with regulars and new faces there. We all ate, talked, had the white elephant gift exchange, and had loads of fun.

If I am able, my home will always be open for the annual Division B Christmas Party, which you can visit.

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