That was the scene on Saturday, Dec. 14, when Phil and Denise Webb hosted their annual Christmas bash. The owners of Webb Concrete and Building Materials invited more than 500 friends to their beautiful house on Laurel Trace for a night of festive merrymaking.
And what a house it is! More like a castle — complete with intricate woodwork, stone flooring and a spiral staircase leading to an honest-to-goodness turret.
For this special occasion, on the outside grounds adjacent to the house rested a 5,500-square-foot opaque tent with a silvery hardwood floor designed to appear as ice. This faux “rink” accommodated tables for hundreds of guests to enjoy a holiday dinner prepared by Classic on Noble owner David Mashburn.
The menu featured roasted turkey with cornbread dressing, sautéed green beans, broccoli-walnut salad and fried chicken livers (yes, you read right — chicken livers!) as well as a mixed potato medley and Mashburn’s popular Noble Salad. This delectable meal was complemented by the nearby bar, which stayed busy throughout the night serving a selection of signature drinks that included Smoked Manhattans, Naughty Nogs and Hot Apple Pie Cider.
For a finishing touch, guests discovered a bakery-style dessert room offering several options to appease any sweet tooth.
Music for the evening was provided by two separate pianists, tickling the ivories of baby grand pianos at opposite ends of the domain — as well as a trio of wandering a cappella carolers.
Partygoers were encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to an area charity, all of which were placed under a 22-foot, all-red Christmas tree that held sway over the Webb’s living room. As the night wore on, the assortment of dolls, games and bicycles spread throughout the room — each toy sure to brighten Christmas morning for children in our community who, otherwise, would have gone without.
“We have a lot of struggling families,” said Linda Johns, executive director of the East Central Alabama United Cerebral Palsy Center. “This year we had 90 families in need.”
Each Christmas, the Center establishes “wishing trees” at area businesses, listing a child’s name and requested toy. “We had very little response this year,” Johns said. “I didn’t know what to do about it. These families were depending on us.”
Johns was near tears when she sent out an emergency e-mail to board members.
Within no time, she received a call from the Webbs, offering her donated toys collected at their party. “Between the Webb’s community spirit and the generosity of their guests, it was an answer to our prayers,” Johns said. “I get chills just thinking about it.”
It certainly meant a Merry Christmas for all and, for all at the UCP Center, an especially good night.