Christmas Eve Dinner


  Nothing can bring on the pressure like hosting someone else’s dinner at your home. I’m not talking about cooking a dinner in honor of or for someone else, I’m talking about a dinner that was supposed to take place at someone’s house – and now it’s at your house.
Because Carlos and I had hosted Thanksgiving dinner, Carlos’ sister took on the task of hosting Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas eve was chosen because we wouldn’t have the boys for Christmas evening and they had already missed out on Thanksgiving dinner, so it was important that everyone would be together for this dinner. The dinner would be held at her house this time and all I had to do was bring a dessert – it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Unfortunately, due to uncontrollable circumstances, the dinner wasn’t going to work at her place, so the dinner would now be hosted at our house. She had invited some of her boyfriend’s friends from out of town so there would be people we didn’t know all too well joining us.
I love hosting and creating fun and warm atmospheres, but for me the pressure was on to really deliver for his sister. I mean it’s her dinner and I didn’t want anything to be lacking on my part that would make her vision less than what she wanted. She requested appetizers, we made three. She mentioned possibly another dessert, I had to make something no one would hate. She chose christmas themed paper plates, I would make sure it would be the prettiest paper table setting I could create! I was over the moon when I went to the grocery store for fresh flowers to put in the middle of the table and found beautiful red christmas hydrangeas – which happens to be one of her favorite flowers. I bought pretty matching glasses for the adults to drink from. I am guilty of not having proper drink wear (or enough of it that matches), we literally drink from mason jars, beer glasses, and wine glasses. Something just seemed funny to me making all the adults drink their fluid of choice from a long stemmed wine glass – thus – matching drinking glasses were a must!
Christmas dinner to me has always been somewhat of a more formal affair. I wanted the atmosphere to feel planned and put together. Even with the choice of paper plates, the table had to be set and ready to go. We have a coffee table in our living room which always seems to be the best place to put the kids together to eat. We would be having 6 kids total and they would fit perfectly at the coffee table. Because I’m an extra host (sorry not sorry), I covered the coffee table with brown paper in case there were any spills and also because I put some crayons at the table for the kids to doodle and draw with while they waited for their plates. I also printed out a christmas themed place mat for the kids to color, whatever I thought would give some focus at the table, sometimes that helps.
For the appetizers I made a cream cheese/chive/ham dip which pairs great with corn chips, a spinach dip with ritz crackers, and Carlos made his famous homemade salsa served with tortilla chips. For dessert I made a bunch of Oreo balls sprinkled with snowflake and christmas tree sprinkles, because when all else fails, everyone loves Oreos! As an added bonus, I put chocolate covered pretzels on all the adult plates, if for nothing else, to serve as a sweet treat for later.
{Can I also add that it was Carlos’ birthday and he was feeling totally under the weather. I was supposed to make a big country homemade breakfast but his belly just wasn’t having it. Poor guy, I always feel like his birthday becomes a background thing going on in the middle of everything else, I’ll have to make it up to him later.}
Everything came together beautifully. Carlos’ sister made a meat and cheese tray and brought a 7 layer dip which gave us tons to snack on while the main courses finished up in the oven. Once everyone had arrived we all sat down and stuffed our faces. I always like to have some sort of jazz music playing in the background, of course for this event it was christmas jazz. Music always seems to keep the conversation flowing. The poppers are always a hit, everyone reads their silly joke from inside and we all laugh like a bunch of children. After food we all ended up cramming on the couch in the basement to play Mario party – because Mario! And once again, just like for Thanksgiving, we didn’t get the pictures we wanted. But that’s a special problem I cherish because it simply means we were having such a wonderful time in the present that we couldn’t be distracted with our phones. It can be done people!
I sent everyone home with christmas to-go boxes. Seriously, if you’ve never purchased to go containers for dinners you need to to do it for your next one. It is THE BEST and easiest way to get people to take food home with them so you don’t end up being stuck with 3 pies, a container of cookies, and 4 casseroles. #lifesavers
I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family and we are all excited to get back together and do it all again next Monday. Merry Christmas!

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