The Christmas ball has been a part of my Christmas season my whole life. As a little girl I remember watching my dad get his tux with tails on and remember him fiddling with cufflinks and his bow tie. He always looked so handsome. My mom would be zipping up her new ball gown for the year and would be adorned in fancy jewelry and perfectly coiffed hair.
I remember when it was my sisters “coming out” year, she was a debutante and had parties what seemed to be for an entire year leading up to it. I remember her beautiful white dress and long white gloves. So glamorous.
I loved hearing the stories the following morning about the “bad” kids that drank too much and terrorized the hotel breaking things etc. My dad explained the ball to me as a party for family friends. It has been the same families who participate–going back for generations. I know my great grandparents went and all of the rest of my family–all of the way down the line.
I’m a fifth generation Seattleite. The “coming out” as a debutante (deb) is the family introducing their daughter to society, and they were now of age to “enter” society. I believe the means available for courtship. I’m not certain about that though.
Oh man, my poor parents, when I was a debutante I think I may have caused a few headaches. I was a soccer coach the summer before my coming out and while at an away camp on the San Juan islands thought it would be really fun to try dying my hair pink with cool aid. It worked. Yay me!
I had to meet my parents straight away from camp at a party for the debs where there was a dress designer there and it was fancy schmancy. As you can guess my parents were a little taken aback when I showed up with pink hair and adidas sandals–though I thought I was pretty dang cool.
Along the theme of being pretty cool later in the year, I had a bike chain put on my wrist as a bracelet. The day of the ball my parents looked at my wrist and told me to take the chain off, ummmmm that’s the beauty of it. It doesn’t come off. I was dragged by my ear around the neighborhood, on a hunt, to find someone that owned the tool that could remove the bracelet. We got it off and I arrived to the ball and got on stage in a big poofy white dress and did my curtsy.
My brother dared me to purposely fall down the stairs after my curtsy. He offered 500.00 if I would do it. Tempted for sure but decided I had put my parents through enough. I was proper and pretty. After the introductions the debs and their dads have a waltz. This was quite the topic through the year. The debs would hire an instructor for them and their date to learn to dance. Some dads needed refreshers too.
It is a beautiful ball, wonderful tradition. I have to say I can’t wait for the day Pemberley is a deb. I just pray she doesn’t put me through the ringer like I did my parents. 😬
This year was a very special year for my family. We had three cousins coming out. It was really special seeing them up on stage being introduced–looking so beautiful. My aunt Shelley is part of the committee right now that puts the ball on so thankfully she invites me.
One tradition that I love about the ball is at midnight everyone sits down for breakfast. This year though the skirt part of my dress was so big sitting in a chair was a tad bit challenging. My dress would not be contained. It seemed to spill over on both sides to my neighbors.
I know the debutante ball has a snooty reputation but I don’t really see it that way though. To me, it is just old family friends getting dressed up for an annual Christmas party that has always and I believe always will feel very special.