PSA: An “Ugly Sweater Party” does not mean donning an old, baggy, awful-blue argyle actually ugly sweater that you find in your dad’s closet.

The first Meet and Greet event at the Holiday Bar on Friday taught me this lesson. The bachelors and bachelorettes looked so festive along with the Committee members in their santa hats, seizure-inducing Christmas light necklaces, and holiday character vests. Our corner of the bar was lit up with smiles, laughter, and holiday spirit. Again, I was welcomed by an awesome, lively group of people who are as eager to have a good time as they are to help someone in need.

I showed up expecting to discuss the progress everyone has made on their packages and I was nervous to have to share that mine was not yet rocking and rolling. Though I have ideas and contacts in the works, it’s far from complete. Though some of the Committee asked us bachelors and bachelorettes about how the work was coming, the mood of the evening was more geared toward fun! Work hard, play hard right? I love the message I’m receiving – the work we have to do is important and time is of the essence, but there isn’t insane pressure. There is help available, whether it’s from my own (awesome) team leader and committee members, or someone else who has ideas and experience they’re willing to share. I heard stories of being in the right place at the right time, stories of getting multiple “No’s” before the “Yes’s” flowed in, and received advice on walk-ins versus emailing and phone calls.

The event got me motivated to complete my package, and made me excited to see this whole gang again. The best part is, I may not know everyone yet, but I know it’s going to be a good time with good people.