This was not a regular meeting with Christmas decorations. In this meeting 22 Santas and Elfs (incl. one Shelf)  joined forces to celebrate a Toastmasters Christmas party. During a pandemic.

We had Elizabeth, VinetteDeborah and Ruslan join us as guests. So happy that you came along! Santa was also spotted twice, but he couldn’t stay.  Busy, he says.

Toastmasters Derek and Steve led through the evening cracking jokes and being jolly.

Stuart L. started the meeting with his speech 12 Days of Christmas. He told the story of the famous song from a different point of view in letters from Emily to her beloved Edward. I believe they had a falling out.  Well, no wonder, after all the birds, milk maids, dancers,  and old men he sent her. She was evicted! She might have kept the rings. 

Next up topsy turvy table topics, devised by Anna and Kartik. This time, only the table topics volunteer got to hear the question (sent via chat). It was thenanswered by Santas Elizabeth, AndyMarc and Elfs John, AdeelVinette, and then the fellow team-members had to guess the question in charade style. Wrong answers were rewarded with a drinking round,  right answers with 10 points. Win-win! After 6 rounds, we had lots of fun, drinks and a tie! What a brilliant idea, Anna and Kartik!!

Kevin entertained us with his speech Be careful what you wish for on Christmas. He looked back on a past Christmas memories. When chocolate was tree decoration (sometimes melted, lights too hot) and entire fairy lights wouldn’t work because of one faulty bulb. He shared EHS adapted cracker jokes and shared the fate of a pair of M&S socks that gets regifted in his family for years. He opened is speech sharing that he was alone last Christmas, which led to his wish that in 2020 he wanted to celebrate Christmas like everyone else. Be careful what you wish for!

Liz contributed her festive speech Reasons to be cheerful. She thought back of memorable moments of this year and how we rose to the challenge of Covid and made the best of it. She then wrote her own lyrics to the 1987 song ‘Reasons to be cheerful – part 3’  from  The Blockheads, in which she looked back to our club’s very beginnings, what we do as Toastmasters, our members and committee.  

Then it was Quiz time with quizmasters Nina P and Peter. 10 more or less Christmassy questions, our 2 teams Santa and Elf, 10 mins in breakout rooms for the teams to nominate someone who presents the answers and discuss the questions. In the answer session each nominee had to give the answer in speedy max. 30 seconds table topics style. Corrects answers and being timely (between 10 and 30 seconds) were awarded points, but there were also points deducted for too short or too long answers. Both teams did incredibly well, but there can only be one winner. Congratulations to team Santa!

Rebecca closed the meeting with her retrospection There is Snow place like EHS looking back at all the great moments of the year, the progress members made, new members, speech titles, attendance, themed meetings, and Kevin’s contribution to preventing meltdowns. A wonderful recap of a wonderful year.

A great finale to a memorable year at the East Herts Speakers.

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