I hate church basketball.

No really, hate.

I am the activities boss for the ward right now, and tonight is our Big Fat Christmas Celebration. Now, a regular Christmas party is work, but a Big Fat one? Let’s just say I was up until 2:00 am and really shouldn’t have slept at all last night.

And like a good Activities person, I have delegated duties to every neighbor and passed an invitation to every stranger. One of the most important parts of this party is seating. Cause really, what’s a pulled pork dinner and a Christmas Jazz Show without chairs and tables? Chairs and tables are to my party what our tree is to the ornaments.

So I asked the most responsible person I could think of to handle the set-up: my husband. As far as commitment is concerned, Jason is like a jihad on a suicide mission (minus the virgins on the other side, if I have anything to do with it). His job was to get the young men to set up the entire gym last night after mutual so that this morning I could go decorate without breaking my back (or a sweat).

“So,” I ask, “How does the gym look?”


“WHAT DO YOU MEAN, UM????” Yes, I kind of freaked out at that first um because I’m wound up like a yo-yo right now.

“Now calm down. See, we went to set up, but there were these guys that wanted to play basketball…”


“No, it wasn’t like that! They promised they’d set them all up when they were done playing, so we just…”

“You just. You just what? Ignored the fact that my entire party depends on chairs and tables??”

“Anne, calm down. If they’re not set up when you get there, I’ll leave work and do it myself.”

Since he’s not willing to leave work ever for anything that doesn’t involve the death of one of our children, I decided that was a sufficient trade.

But why is it that church basketball is as much a religion as our religion? This is the third time in the last month they have attempted to ruin my life and my party. We booked the gym for a dress rehearsal last week. When we showed up, what do you think we found? A bunch of boys who insisted we let them finish because they have “Thursday night first dibs.”

I’m leaving for the church in ten minutes. There had better be tables and chairs….


  1. I’m pretty sure the Bible talks about the importance of sweaty guys throwing a ball into a hoop. You really need to keep up on your doctrine, Annie.

  2. Good luck, sweetie. I had to fight that fight for seating for a FUNERAL DINNER. I wish I were kidding. But, yeah. We argued. We whined. There may have been a little cursing, or maybe that was all kept in my head. But I feel your pain. Hope it’s flawless.

  3. We had our Christmas party last weekend – a very, VERY elaborate Night in Bethlehem affair that required two days of setup. We had it all decorated to look like a marketplace – booths filled with pottery and baskets and tons of fabric draped everywhere to make everything look rich, and there was a gigantic wooden barn thing for the nativity, surrounded with huge trees filled with twinkle lights (because that’s what they had when Jesus was born, twinkle lights). It was totally excessive and fabulous. Anyway, on Saturday afternoon, a bunch of boys came in and asked if they could play basketball. I’m not sure if they were blind or just delayed in some fashion.

  4. I’m dying to know if the chair we set up or not…

  5. Riddle Girl says:

    I think you just awakened the beast that is within all of us who have ever had to perform any form of activity set up.
    I have had one too many arguments (cordial disagreements) with basketballers. I had scheduled the building and was told “but we always play at this time.” Well look at the scheduling calendar ding dongs…I think 100 primary kids trumps 4 sweaty guys. 🙂
    Please post an update…I would love to know if they actually got set up!

    On a side note…I hate the after activity lurkers too. The ones that just can’t wait until the activity is over so they can start shooting around. Once enough tables/chairs are out of the way and they start in. (And do they offer to help take down the chairs?…Typically no!) But I will give props to the 1 in 10 husbands that do actually offer to help with clean up to move progress along faster. (Hey, if they are helping…then it takes some of the resentment away. A little!)

  6. I can’t wait for the update!

  7. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said. You just touched on the subject of them wanting to practice. The whole idea of “church ball” brings on a whole new dimension of what is Christian while in the gym.

  8. Not to mention the broken arms and swearing and excommunication involved. But maybe that’s just my ward.

  9. I’d hate the see the carnage left in your path if those table and chairs aren’t set up.

  10. Ooh. I would have killed myself a crab…er, basketball player! I hope they’re all set up for you. (And that’s nice that the hubby will leave work early to help out.)

  11. You just brought back memories of when I was the activities co-chairperson. Sigh, I really enjoyed it if I didn’t have to come up with the activities. I love planning parties. I should go back to church so I can get this calling again.

  12. I’m the Activity Chair in our ward and had that party last week. After the condition my feet were in afterwards, I sure hope you set aside your love of high heels for at least the set-up portion. 🙂

  13. good reason to send a letter to church headquarters, requesting two gyms in every new church building from here on out!

  14. SO. GLAD. I Do NOT. Have that calling.

  15. Ha, church basketball! My one salvation in life, none of my men are basketball fans or players.

    Hope the party was a success.

  16. I don’t even have words. I really just try not to think about those basketball players, ever, because they usually make me so mad I start punching people!

  17. I hope your Party went well and there were chairs and tables set up when you arrived. AFter all these years I still don’t understand it either. Don’t think I ever will and YES it is VERY frustrating at times. Can’t wait to hear about the party.

  18. I REALLY hope you had tables and chairs. I hate getting that “umm….” from my husband. Except that in his case he’s no jihad. He’s a straight up “umm….er” because he pretty much screws everything up every time. Even if no one is playing basketball at the time.

  19. They do know that we technically call it the cultural hall…so that would automatically trump the basketball…