This past month I have been running around constantly, trying to prepare for the 2 days of Christmas craziness that is heading our way. I always feel like Thanksgiving sneaks up on us and we barely have enough time to catch our breath before the mad rush to Christmas. This time of year can really stress me out and I have to remember to take a step back and enjoy the moments of love and companionship that results from the frantic cooking, decorating, shopping and holiday-party attending that inevitably happens. All of which brings me to “Friends-mas”.
Friends-mas has mostly been my personal happy point in the holiday season build up. Every year my circle of friends get together to celebrate and it’s a chance for us all to break away from the, what seems like, endless demands of family and work functions to catch up (don’t get me wrong, I love my family, the holidays are just overwhelming juggling between 3 families). We are used to seeing our friend group pretty frequently throughout the year, but December is always difficult to manage multiple meet ups. Because of this, we usually make a big deal of Friends-mas. All the couples usually bring a dish and we have a white elephant exchange for the ladies and a craft beer bottle share for the gents. It’s festive and sweet and sometimes we go overboard on the wine but everyone really enjoys themselves.
The last few years I’ve hosted and more often than not, I’ve felt lucky because I really enjoy decorating and hosting. That is, until all the last minute scrambling happens and I have realized that I was overly ambitious on my party plans. In that moment, I sometimes mentally kick myself for adding to my holiday stress. But by the time the party really starts, those feelings are gone and I’m extremely happy that I went a little overboard. The wine helps too. Ha! Honestly though, it makes me happy to add something special to this annual gathering, as my friends are near and dear.
This time, I really wanted to avoid the extra stress and so made it a point to cater our main dish and volunteered to provide a homemade pumpkin pie that was to die for (FYI the BB’s Cajun fried turkey is worth ordering for something like this, if you are in Houston. Yum!). This allowed me to bake the night before and only focus on decorating the evening of the party which really helped to even out the workload! And while I still had to rush to get everything done, it was much more manageable.
For decor I went with a more traditional table layout which was a nice change of pace from our personal style. We were able to mix and match our china with some Vietri pieces, Vietri chargers and some cute but similar Pier 1 chargers to keep it fun and cheerful. I even found these adorable napkins at the Nutcracker Market this year that I knew I had to use for our dinner party. I was excited to use fresh greenery as our centerpiece and had fun adding mini lights and candles to cozy the table up. It was messier than I expected and so needed more clean up afterwards but it worked out well and was extremely festive. Here in Houston, getting into the holiday spirit can take a little more effort since we usually don’t get snow, but even that happened this year! The night before our party we had a nice bit of snow, so it definitely put us all in the right mood to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Being able to share a night with friends during such a busy time was just what we needed to push through these last 2 weeks leading up to the holidays. It helped me readjust my mindset on the season and reflect on how grateful I am for all the blessings we’ve celebrated this year as friends. Happy Holidays Y’all!