This time of year can be very stressful for some. There are a lot of things to do to prepare for the holidays – gifts, meals, travel, etc. And there might also be some important deadlines lurking just around the corner. So even the holidays can be a challenge.
Despite the stressors, I have always looked forward to the holiday season and having a calendar full of good meals and opportunities to meet up with family and friends. And in fact, one of the things that I always looked forward to is the Holiday Potluck Get-Together that the EFA has held in (or near) its offices each holiday season. It was a great chance to meet up and catch up in person with some of our long-time members and some former co-executives – people like Eliot Linzer, Laurie Lewis, Sheila Buff, Margaret Moser, J.P. Partland, and many others. It’s great to have access to thoughts and advice from their long-term vantage point.
Current board members who are in the vicinity also attend, and it’s nice to be able to shake hands and share a table, some conversation, and a multitude of homemade treats with them, as well. It has also been a chance to see and to spend some personal time with the EFA’s office staff, including Susannah Driver-Barstow, Christina Shideler, Vina Orden, and our newest staff member, Juliana McArdle.
Those in-person encounters are not going to happen this year, though, due to the coronavirus, but we are fortunate that we can have a virtual meet-up in its place – though participants will have to supply (or imagine) their own holiday drinks and treats. EFA’s Virtual Winter Social will take place on January 14, 2021, and we hope we have a full house.
The Virtual Winter Social will also be a way to close out our year-long celebration of 50 years of the EFA with a special program, including announcing the overall winner of the Create-a-Word Contest. Members will also have a chance to sign up for breakout networking sessions around genres or specializations (a nod to the “affinity groups” of the past) as well as to meet other members at random.
The event has already been fully booked, but if you haven’t signed on already, add your name to the waitlist and keep an eye out for more details (including recipes for a cocktail and mocktail inspired by the winning Create-a-Word entry, which you can make beforehand to toast with at the event).
I am looking forward to this virtual event, and the opportunity that it will provide to see (even at a virtual distance) old friends and acquaintances – and to meet some new EFA members who might be attending. It’s all virtual, yes, but it’s still a great chance to learn some new things and to make some valuable new connections, and that’s what we’re all about. So I hope you all enjoy the holiday season, and our Winter Social in particular.
Bill Keenan, Co-executive
EFA Board of Governors