Ever since my husband and I bought our home three years ago, we have had an annual Christmas party for friends and family. This past weekend was our Christmas party and it was a blast as usual.
So many people ask why we have a Christmas party and why we do it the way we do (it’s not potluck), so I thought I would shed some light on our philosophy.
One, I love party planning. I love finding cute decorating ideas and interesting recipes to share with everyone…which leads to reason number two…
I love to cook. It’s my second passion (just check out my recently neglected Clayton Family Kitchen blog…I promise to get back on track once The Hurricane Effect’s 1st draft is done).
Three, my husband is a very social creature. He loves talking and mingling. I always say he could talk to a wall and convince it to do anything he wanted.
All of those reasons are what started our desire to have a Christmas party, but over the years more important reasons have come to outshine them.
We get asked why we provide all the food, when we could have guests bring food.
This started out because I wanted a reason to cook, but now its because we want to provide a place for friends and family to come enjoy themselves without the pressure of having to bring something. This is our opportunity to serve the people in our lives and show them how much we appreciate them. We also don’t know the private lives of everyone who might attend. This meal could be the highlight of their Christmas season. Too often we take for granted that everyone has a huge family waiting for them on Christmas Day. How easy it is to forget that this is really the saddest season of the year for a lot of people (reminders of lost loved ones, or the absence of family). We hope that our party provides an uplifting experience that can bring some joy back into this time of year.
We get asked about the stress of trying to pull off a party for anywhere from 30-50 people.
I’ll admit its very stressful, especially in the hour leading up to the arrival of guests. Things start just getting thrown into the nearest closet or drawer. My mother-in-law comes the night before and we start cooking. This year my parents were able to help and my husband’s sister joins us the day of the party. We have so much fun, even when we can feel the tension in the room. Memories are made in the crazy moments.
This year, I loved watching my husband and his mother trying to make “Frosty hats” from Oreo’s and marshmallows dipped in chocolate. It was comical to watch them try to dip them in the chocolate and get them out successfully.
Then there was that moment when three magnums of champagne burst in my freezer, because I didn’t know you couldn’t put champagne in the there. I opened the freezer to see it covered in champagne snow and my heart just sunk. My husband and his sister took spoons and scooped some of the champagne snow declaring that it was awesome, which brought a smile to my face.
I also remember making my mother shell pistachios, and her asking if I thought people couldn’t shell their nuts. It was for a recipe…that I didn’t even have time to finish…sorry Mom. But now, I’ve got a ton of pistachios all ready to eat! Thanks again! 🙂
Or my Dad washing dishes for hours on end, each of us dumping dishes in front of him and he replying he already washed that one…he’s a professional after this party!
Oh and I can’t forget my husband going crazy with the sprinkles on the cake and blowing them all over the kitchen, including onto a plate of grilled cheeses his sister was making. They both burst out in giggles.
There are countless other moments throughout the day that were made into family memories. I got pure joy out of watching my husband interact with his mother, sister and my parents.
We also get asked how we afford to provide the food, etc.
We aren’t rich, but in lieu of buying each other gifts we buy the food and other things for the party. Over the few short years we’ve been doing this we realize how much more we get out of this party than we ever would some material gifts. We are blessed by this party in so many ways. The joy of our family together, the happy faces of our friends who say they look forward to it every year, the ability to bring people together and the chance to get to know them better. We love the opportunity to serve others in our home. We’ve truly learned that it’s better to give than to receive. Our hearts have never been fuller.
And that, my dear friends, is why we have a Christmas party. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas!