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Old 11-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Who is throwing a Christmas Party?

Who is throwing a holiday party? How many guests? What are you doing, cooking, is there a theme, is it family or adult? Oh, and as in the military, we want after-action reports. How did it go? How many showed out of those you expected? What foods/events were successes, which were failures?


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Old 11-28-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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I used to throw a lot of parties, but I've now narrowed it down to one, the first or second Sunday in December, depending on how the week falls (for example, if the first Sunday is December first, second, or third, I'm likely to go for the second, for some breathing time after Thanksgiving).

I used to call it a tree-trimming party, and it was great fun. I've used everything from the traditional tree, to potted Norfolk Island pines, to Rosemary topiaries, depending upon where we lived. Last year we just couldn't handle a real tree any more, so bought a 1/4 tree ... corner tree ... so that we wouldn't have to move furniture. As such, I don't call it a tree trimming party any more.

The past two years we had really, and I mean very seriously, bad weather for the party. My husband is always concerned with RSVPs. For me, once I know 15-20 are going to come, I'm OK with it. He laughs at me; I joke that we can invite 20, 40 will show up, we can invite 75, 40 will show up. He rolls his eyes at this, but then counts up who came the next morning, and finds it is always in that ballpark.

About 15 or so years ago, I started asking people to bring something for a local food bank or church (depending upon where I lived). I used to try to make all the food myself, but I found that people were bringing stuff to share anyway, so now I just make a big pot of Cincinnati chili and provide styrofoam mugs or bowls and the various traditional toppings, leaving it on my "crockpot" burner on the stove in the kitchen and having folk help themselves.

Then my guests load up the dining room, table and sideboard, with "finger food" ... anything from cookies to crackers and cheese to elegant hors d'ouevres (oh, gee, I forgot how to spell that!). My husband makes huge batches of his special eggnog, and we have lots of beer & wine. Our friends know we don't keep a full bar, so if anyone has something they can't party without, they know to bring it (in other words, I buy cheap wine, but wine snobs can bring their own; we don't put out much in the way of hard booze, but people can bring in a bottle, and I make a point of making sure I have whatever non-drinkers like ... you can't cover all bases, but I try).

So, that's my big deal this upcoming week. I'm seriously hoping for reasonable weather. The past two years we had (1) an ice storm and (2) a blizzard. Ironically, it didn't stop very many people (it would have stopped me, had I been a guest, I mean it was terrible and it stopped no one). I have the tree trimmed, and bought a new creche (OK, accent is missing) for the mantle. The casement windows are decorated, and since my husband decided the dining room would be painted coral, I bought a new table cloth (red looks weird, thank heaven for cheapo places, I found a dark green one that looks ok for $9!). I cut way down on decorating years ago, and minimal (in other words, not tons of lights) goes well in a 150+ year old house. So, I'm almost ready!

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Old 11-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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sounds like a lovely party to me, i'm in.
"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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Since catering is a part of my work, I don't get much time to throw my own parties. But this year due to a few circumstances I am only catering one major Christmas event (plus taking baking orders). With my Dad here, DH and I thought it would be good to have an open house inviting our friends and his as he doesn't get out much but loves people! Don't know if it is a go yet or when, but we will make it up as we go!
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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We're having a Holiday party in December. We will do a Yankee Swap with some neighbors, family and friends. This year, for the first time, we are not doing all the food but asking everyone to bring appetizers or desserts to feed the group.

We have been doing these for a number of years and they are always a good time.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Last year we had about 28 over for a dessert party. I seriously underestimated the time to bake all this sensational food and way over estimated how much they would eat. We spent two days and thirteen hours baking Italian cream cake, date loaf cake, a sheet fudge cake, spice cake, two different makes of rum balls, lemon meringue pie, Tex-Mex roll ups, chicken salad, two different kinds of cookies, cheese logs, and the standard Rotel Cheese dip and several brands of liquor and Margaritas. Totally overwhelming and they didn't drink very much, either. They raved over the food, couldn't believe we didn't buy anything and had a great time. But, man did we have a lot left over. This year I'm inviting pigs and not cooking nearly as much.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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We try to have a Hanukah party every year but I think this year it will just be family. After all around then is our anniversary, my parents anniversary, my in-laws anniversary my mother-in-law’s birthday my father’s birthday and my sisters’ birthday all in December. Probably to alcohol. There will like be latkes and jelly doughnuts. Possibly pizza.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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My party was a great success. I do it early in the season and this year I just happened to schedule it just BEFORE the huge blizzard hit. I was pleased that there was a ton of food for the local food bank. So much that we just normally drop it off, but there was way too much for the two of us to handle without the grocery baskets to wheel them in. I'd specifically asked for paper and soap products (what they'd said they needed most; I think there's federal and state funding for canned goods, plus hunters donate venison). I don't think I've moved so much toilet paper in my life (which is one of the items they asked for).

The party itself was also a huge success. This year I used 5-6 lbs of ground beef (chuck is best) to make my Cincinnati chili, and you'd swear someone licked the pot. Jer doubled his eggnog, and only a quart pitcher was left. But I can't much take credit for the food since I ask everyone to bring a dish to pass.

I encourage people to bring their kids, and my intrepid next door neighbor (girl, age 8 I think) had tasted ginger ale for the first time last summer. She christened it "Christmas Pop" for her younger friends, and they were all thrilled to drink Christmas Pop.

After most of the guests left (my rule of 40 applied, I think we had 45 this year)(heaven knows what I would do if everyone I invite showed ... not much, I guess, since I ask them to bring the food!), one friend is an excellent singer, and we sat with the families with young children and sang carols. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:20 AM   #9
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Our Christmas Eve was as usual.Lots of talking, kids dancing about waiting with eager anticipation for the ok to open presents.My oldest son had mentioned to me that my grand daughter Alyssa liked to sing...Soooo, My rodeo queen sang for us. I knew she had a lovely speaking voice but when she let loose and sang and of course it was cw it caused goose bumps,and
complete quiet.I'd say this was one of the best Christmas presents ever.
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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Our Christmas was as usual with the Grammas and the addition of my husbands sister and family in from Africa. We were pretty low key (Grammas are all over 80) but we plan to have a sushi party later on in the week. I'll also be doing a NY day dinner I think. Thats my plan anyway.

I'll let you know how it went.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:33 PM   #11
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Unlike last year when we hosted everyone sporatically over two entire weeks, we had dinner at Nick's mom's house and then went to my Mom's house for dinner, over two days. My Dad and a few others are coming for dinner on the 30th, then we have a couple of friends coming down from Montreal for new years for a couple of days. They came last year too - hopefully it is becoming a tradition, it's a fun one!
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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Well, I wound up "throwing" a second party. In quotes because my ladies (in their late 70s, one totally crippled by arthritis, one blinded from macular degeneration) asked me to help them get it together to entertain. Their primary care giver worked her patootie off to get the house clean, a daughter flew in from France with her son, they sprang for the booze if I'd invite people and ask them to bring a dish to share. It was a small party, but everyone was thrilled. The arthritic friend hadn't wanted people to visit in the past year or so, so when she asked me, then had her sippy cup filled with wine, she was in heaven, it made my year. It was a small party, but very gratifying.

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