But not so bad at the throwing of the parties.
It was a hit. I thought everybody was bringing cookies so I didn't make much sweet stuff, but then everybody brought savory stuff (which I made a ton of) and it got attacked and all I have left is sweet stuff. The bourbon balls were a raging hit. The cookies were respectable (the cranberry-ginger ones are gone completely and we made a hefty dent in the gingerbread, which made about twice as many cookies as I expected). The peppermint bark was also a hit but I had to put it back in the fridge eventually as it got somewhat soft.
I lit all the candles we never burn (we have candles in our fireplace) and the tree was nice and sparkly. EVERYONE brought beer or wine. Shots were done. It still stayed civilized, but we had a fabulous time. Everybody loved the food, so I will try and do a rundown of stuff besides general bread and crackers:
baked brie with cranberry sauce
lots of green and red grapes
a nice piece of smoked salmon
a big bowl of spicy olives and little mozzarella balls
vegetable tapenade (Trader Joe's)
korozot - my grandmother's spicy Hungarian blue cheese dip
lots of cut-up veggies
nice sliced salami (somebody picked up a slice and asked me if it was "that Hickory Farms summer sausage". I couldn't decide how to explain that I was insulted - was he implying that somebody else brought it and I had to serve it even though it was bad? Because it was good and I kind of resent the implication/snobbiness)
And I swear there was more. Plus the shrimp and seven-layer dip other people brought (not together). We have nearly nothing left except some crackers.
And there was one really nice moment that just made the party for me. One of Matt's friends started playing the piano and he was playing some Beatles tunes. About halfway through A Day In The Life, everybody started singing along without realizing (around 2:21)
When we got to the "aah" bit (about 2:51) we all looked around and noticed everybody else was singing too. And IT WAS AWESOME.