Christmas with Friends

By Emily:

Last Sunday, we hosted an open house for the holidays.  We were happy so many people were able to come – about 40 guests.  Our house looked lovely, and our tree received quite a few compliments. 

We have many holiday decorations that we inherited from our family.  We have a lovely Advent calendar that my mom made for us a few years ago, we have silver bells from Rob’s grandmother, and we have lots of other cute little decorative items that are from my late aunt. In addition to the special family items, I put together a few decorations for the party.

I purchased red and white flowers from the bulk flower market. I put red roses next to the bells. On the table, we have a white tablecloth and a red table runner. We have six white candlesticks that are a bit modern and funky looking. I placed a different type of vase between each candlestick.  There were two white bud vases that nicely held a few white flowers. We also have two small square vases. Into each of those, I poured about an inch of Epsom salt, put rosemary leaves on top of the salt, and then put a small pillar candle on top of the rosemary. I also put a few cranberries around each candle. The Epsom salt looks like snow and the rosemary looks like Christmas tree needles.  The cranberries are fun for contrast against the green and white.  In the center of the table, I have a big fishbowl type of vase that I found at Goodwill. I put white flowers in it and surrounded the entire arrangement with cranberries. The contrast between the white and the red was fun and quite lovely.

Outside, I (finally) removed what was left of our petunias and mums. I took the excess branches from our Christmas tree and arranged them in the window boxes. On top of the branches, I added garland, pine cones, and holly berries. Everything looks very cheerful, especially when I’m looking through my kitchen window.

For the party, I made stuffed mushrooms, parmesan thyme crackers, olive cheese balls, and cake balls. We also made mulled wine, which was very popular, and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.  Although I made the drinks the day of the party, I was able to prepare the food items ahead of time and just cook them the day of the party, which spread the work out nicely.

Some of our friends brought yummy dishes like flautas, rum balls, chocolates, a delicious nut mix, homemade truffles, veggies with dip, and fruit. We are delighted that our house provides such a great environment for entertaining, and we are grateful that so many people took the time to come over.

After the party and (super easy!) cleanup was over, Rob and I just sat in our living room listening to Christmas music, relaxing and talking. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful Christmas-y weekend. We are definitely looking forward to Christmas.

 

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~ by Emily Page on December 20, 2011.

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