Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Make a holiday chore much more fun by inviting several friends to join you for company while you all write your Christmas cards. You'll serve them tasty snacks, put on high energy Christmas music (No "White Christmas" or "Blue Christmas" tonight!) and indulge in some delicious beverages while you work.
CHRISTMAS PARTY ACTIVITY:
Gather together with friends to get an important chore out of the way: holiday card writing. Invite people to bring over their cards, fancy papers, address books, stamps, pens, photos, stickers, embellishments, glitter and other crafty supplies. Some people might prefer to craft and create their own cards; others will want to just buy holiday cards at the store to simply write and address them at your party.
You can chat, listen to music, and keep each other company while you work on your Christmas cards. I prefer not to show movies at Christmas card writing parties, since movies make people want to look up at the screen instead of down at the cards they're writing in.
Encourage each other to finish. Inspire each other when you struggle to think of something to say to a particular relative.
CHRISTMAS PARTY GUESTS:
Your guest list will most likely be comprised mainly of women - possibly mostly older women, since letter writing is a tradition that's dying out, sadly.
This is an ideal child-friendly party, too - Sunday is a schoolnight, so you'd host the party earlier in the afternoon. Kids would love to come nibble on goodies and help make glittery, pretty Christmas cards to send to their relatives.
CHRISTMAS PARTY INSPIRATION:
CHRISTMAS PARTY DECORATIONS:
You may not have gone all out and fully decorated for the holidays yet - it's still early in the month! That's perfectly ok. You don't necessarily need decorations for this party - just a big cleared off table for everyone to spread out their things and work on. Or you could all settle in comfy chairs and lounge on couches, writing on lap desks or on magazines propped in your laps.
If you do decorate, stick to traditional red-and-white, red-and-gold or red-and-green, cheerful and colorful decor. You want to spark your guests' inspiration and put them in a festive holiday mood.
Be sure to have a festive wreath welcoming guests at your front door!
Lay the table with a festive, washable holiday tablecloth that you won't mind getting gluey, glittery and inky from everyone's lovely card projects.
Serve food on paper plates to make this Sunday evening worknight party easy to clean up afterwards!
CHRISTMAS PARTY FRAGRANCE:
Make things cozy by lighting a fire, setting out lit candles, and spraying your home with a holiday fragrance. Bring in fresh evergreen cuttings from your back yard, if you live in a wooded area.
Also, you can inexpensively make your house smell fantastically festive with this simple trick: Put one stick of cinnamon in a big pan of water on the stove and simmer it. Start about twenty minutes before guests arrive, and refill the pan with water a couple times during the party. (Don't forget to check now and then to make sure the pan hasn't boiled dry!) You can buy a jar of eight or so cinnamon sticks for less than $3 at Trader Joe's
Because December is so new, your guests will likely be excited about the upcoming holiday. I recommend classic traditional Christmas songs. (Later on in the month when people are tired of hearing Christmas music everywhere, it's time to haul out things like the fun, modern new Annie Lennox holiday CD).
Select albums and compilations with happy, poppy, energetic songs to keep your guests' energy levels up. I recommend Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Brenda Lee, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and similar recording artists.
CHRISTMAS PARTY APPETIZERS:
Because this is a weeknight party on a work night, you probably won't want to serve a sit-down dinner. That uses up too much time that your guests need to use writing and making their Christmas cards.
Instead, serve finger foods and appetizers. Try to keep them easy to pick up and easy to eat. Have plenty of napkins nearby - your guests will be using their hands to work with paper and envelopes, so they'll need a way to keep their hands clean as they nibble on treats.
CHRISTMAS PARTY BEVERAGES:
Because this is a worknight party, I wouldn't serve too many alcoholic drinks. Perhaps just a festive Grinch cocktail or a Holly Berry for each guest. Then I'd move on to non-alcoholic beverages if they're thirsty, and hot drinks if they're chilled.
Also offer hot beverages - tea and coffee in both caffeinated and decaf varieties, as well as a festive mug of steaming hot cocoa.
CHRISTMAS PARTY DESSERTS:
Serve desserts that are easy to pick up with one hand and eat while writing with the other. Things like cookies or mini tarts. Nothing that requires a spoon or fork! I also wouldn't serve mini cupcakes because the frosting is messy, whoopie pies, or powdered sugar cookies like Linzer or Russian teacakes.
If you have time, bake cookies ahead of time. Or pick some up at an elegant bakery - try to avoid just picking up a bag of Chips Ahoy or boring Pepperidge Farm at the grocery store. Trader Joe's has some good quality, attractive cookies at an inexpensive price, too.