Christmas time is my absolute favorite time of the year! People are just so happy and joyful all the time and there's a certain mood in the air in December. As I've gotten older I've realized that the most important part of the holidays isn't the gifts and glamor, but time spent with family, friends, and loved ones.
That's why, over the years, I've become slightly obsess with entertaining during the holidays. I know that I get this from my mom, because she has hosted our family and friends Christmas Day party every year for over 30 years. Something about that nostalgic memory just encourages me to start similar traditions of my own.
The most important part of entertaining during the holidays is simply spending time with the people you love. It can be in any form and any setting, just that time together makes it special. To give you some inspiration on how to entertain during the holidays I decided to list some of the events I'm either hosting or attending this month. I hope its helpful to you and that you find yourself surrounded by love and joy this holiday season.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Party
This past Saturday night my good friend and former roommate hosted an ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Party. She had it at her apartment and invited about 15 of her closest friends to enjoy Christmas-themed appetizers, spiked hot cider, and cider mules.
It was very low-key, but she gave such attention to detail on her decorations, food, and drink which made it so very special. The sweaters were hilarious and everyone had just the best of times.
Christmas Brunch in Georgetown
This was a get-together that I hosted and it turned out perfectly! I have a lot of amazing friends here in DC that I've met from undergrad, grad school, and work. These girls are simply some of the best people I've met and I love spending time with them. Usually I do different things with different groups of friends, but every once in awhile I like to host something that gets everyone together and gives people the chance to meet new friends.
This year I decided to make a brunch reservation at a favorite place in Georgetown so everyone could eat and enjoy each others company. I told everyone to dress in festive colors and bring a little $10 gift that we could pass around the table. This ensured everyone got to go home with a little something and made it more Christmas-y than a standard brunch.
It was so delightful to spend the morning with everyone and truly reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by such amazing women.
Weekend Trip to New York City
There will be an entire blog post about this next week, but I'm taking Devin to New York City for a Christmas-y weekend! He knows we're going, but doesn't know what I have on the itinerary so it'll be a great surprised for him.
More to come....
Cookie/Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition
At work we have a huge off-site party for the entire branch, but my work-wife and I wanted to do something with just our division as a more personal gathering.
So, we decided to turn our monthly all-hands meeting into a Potluck and host two competitions. The first is going to be a cookie-baking competition, and the second is an ugly Christmas sweater competition. This is a win-win because we get to dress comfortably in our sweaters AND eat as many delicious cookies as we want. It also just brings a little extra cheer to the office because people tend to get competitive (in a fun way) when we all do things like this.
This is a family tradition that occurs every year. About a week before Christmas my whole family goes to my cousins house for a cookie exchange. We used to go over and do all of the Christmas baking that day, but it ended up being a 'too many cooks in the kitchen' scenario so now we just show up with a few dozen cookies and leave with a good mix of the other that the rest of the family bakes.
We always have great hors d'ouvres and plenty of wine to go along with the exchange and just last year my cousin started to also implement the ugly sweater rule. It makes for another festive evening of enjoying family in the Christmas spirit!
Broadway Show and Dinner in DC
This I'm doing with just one friend, but it's a great way to celebrate the holidays in a special way. Instead of exchanging gifts we splurged on tickets to see Les Miserables here in DC. We both love musicals and Les Mis is absolutely a favorite.
We're going to eat at Philomena in Georgetown that decorates in a way your Grandma would have in the 60s and 70s. Its absolutely tacky and absolutely amazing. I simply cannot wait for that night. I think it is so much better to enjoy Christmas making memories with friends rather than just exchanging gifts.
Christmas Party Reunion
This is the last big event I have planned before Christmas itself. When I was in high school I hosted a Christmas party every year. By senior year there were about 80 kids shoved into my parents house...
It was always such a fun tradition and everyone looked forward to it, especially me. I've run into so many old friends recently and it seems like the party is always brought up. So, this year I decided to throw one! It's going to be the Friday before Christmas and I have about 50 people that are coming. It's going to be so much fun to see everyone and celebrate this amazing time of year!