Now it's time to start thinking Christmas! You may be skeptical but we are down to one party a year and that is the Christmas party. I have given up on other organized parties but this one was a big hit last year and when people started asking "So are you going to have another Christmas party?" I said yes. That is the 18th. And we are staying here for Christmas, so we will have a family dinner here on either the 24th or the 25th.
So it is time to prioritize. There are plans to be made. They are as follows - cooking, decorating and presents.
Presents - Matt brought me a flier from this funny place because they are having a local crafts bazaar of some sort in two weeks. So that is an option. I have many jars of chutney that will be going to hopefully-welcoming homes and I want to pair those with a local thing like (my current options) jam, honey or homemade soap from the co-op. Stuff people will use. Other options include peppermint bark (not for those on diets), homemade granola and spiced nuts (hopefully not too many people are on diets). But that shouldn't be too painful.
Cooking - a menu for Christmas will be chosen when I find out what the hell the in-laws plan on doing. If they do cioppino Christmas Eve I will happily do a turkey or some sort of roast for Christmas Day. And we will probably only invite the in-laws and one couple so that will only be a meal for 10 including the kiddoes.
The other thing is what to cook for the Christmas party. At this point we've already got 25 people saying they will stop in, some will come early and some will come late. I guess it'll be like an open house type thing, that's what it was last year. There will be a big pot of cider and there will be hot buttered rum and so I just want a couple of cookie recipes and a variety of savory appetizers as people often bring cookies to share. I am thinking gingersnaps (because I luuuurve them) and something from here and maybe a batch of peppermint bark. These also look like they are a good make-ahead option. For savory I am going to have a couple of dips (one of mine and one or two from Trader Joe's) and crackers or baguettes and some crudites. We've got a family recipe from my grandmother involving blue cheese mixed with cream cheese and large amounts of paprika that is always a hit, I am thinking of just having that instead of a bunch of different cheeses. Although this was also a big hit last year. So I guess it's just narrowing down the options, really.
Decorating - this is the biggie. Last year was my first Christmas at home. I inherited/acquired a decent amount of ornaments so I am not worried about the tree much. But I also couldn't justify buying lights as I inherited three strings of perfectly functional tree lights from a friend. Unfortunately they were from here monochrome phase so they are all red. I called it The Satan Tree last year and I don't think I can do it again. I need multicolored lights, thanks. I think the red ones are going to move on. So last year all I had was a tree and a wreath on the door. And I want to get a little more festive this year. I am trying not to spend like a fiend, so I will probably keep it to lights, some garlands and a couple of festive candle holder type jobbies. That doesn't sound too unreasonable, right? I still haven't found a tree topper I like, they are so expensive! The only current candidate is this one, it is just like the one my parents have. It is a traditional Hungarian style and theirs has lasted forever so it may be my one splurge.
Can you tell I love a good To-Do list? I have three weeks for the party and four until Christmas. So this list may be back... most of Matt's Christmas stuff I grabbed as soon as I found it so that is a relief. But everybody else gets checked off, one by one. You'd all get chutney if you were here!