Decking The Halls And Walls And Etc.

A few weeks ago, one morning when I was in the process of leaving a meeting and then running to Starbucks and then heading back to work again, I had the strangest, most unexpected realization:

I want to have a Christmas party.

I mean, I didn’t just want to have one. I wanted to throw one. At my house. For people I know. So we could hang out and talk and be merry and whatnot.

But here’s the thing: I’m not much of a party-thrower. We used to have people over for dinner all the time – almost every weekend, in fact – but we’ve gotten out of the habit the last few years (and I say “we,” but I really mean “I,” because D is forever saying, “We should have them over for dinner,” and I’m forever saying, “But I am so very tired,” and the end). I try to give myself a break about it because the last year has been a little, um, full between taking care of my people and working at my regular job and writing a book and managing to find something clean to wear every day, but I very much miss that feeling of getting the house ready and cooking a bunch of food and laughing my head off and then not even minding the clean-up process because it was so. much. fun.

I’m now concerned that y’all think that I’ve turned into some sort of hermit, so please know that I haven’t. I mean, I could. But I haven’t. And we entertain our families all the time. I’m just talking about having a gathering of people who aren’t necessarily related to D or me. That is all. Plus, I think that writing a book is sort of an isolating deal – it is a LOT of time rambling around inside your head – and now that I’m finished with it, I am craving time with people. I want to cook food for people. I want to hear people laugh in my house.

So. Guess what I’m doing next week? I’m having a Christmas party. Just a girls’ night kind of deal for friends from Bible study and work. I thought about doing a big, grown-up, couples party for about three minutes, and then I decided that it would stress me out. A girls’ night seems like an easier place to start with the holiday entertaining (at least for me). So I’m cooking some stuff and a few people are bringing some stuff and I. CANNOT. WAIT. It’s made decorating the house so much more fun – just because I know I’m going to get to share it all with sweet friends.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to show off this particular bit of their Christmas decor?

Could anything possibly be more welcoming and inviting than an armless monkey stocking holder?


Are you doing any special entertaining this year during the holidays? Do you have any go-to party traditions?

(Besides your own personal armless monkey stocking holder, of course.)

(It only stands to reason that it would be an integral part of your entertaining routine.)

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  1. You crack me up! I too love to have friends over and laugh and snack and whatever! Christmas decorations make a great background for all of it! I was going to have the Bible Study girls/husbands over for New Year’s Eve, but then TU won their conference, so we are off to the Liberty Bowl on NYE. I’m going to miss having the party, but will travel with husband and daughter to Memphis for good times, so it’s all good! I’m loving your armless monkey, and I’m thinking of incorporating one in my decor ASAP!! Have a blast!

  2. Second annual ugly Christmas sweater party!

    We wear horrible Christmas sweaters, eat lots of snacks, and play board games. It’s a good time!

  3. With the exception of last year & this year (both my in-laws were critically ill and sadly now both have passed away) I’ve hosted a girls only Saturday brunch at my house for Christmas – it is WONDERFUL! We’ve had so much fun that what was intended to start at 10 and end around lunch usually winds up being an all day affair. I HIGHLY recommend it! If I wasn’t so over-extended committment-wise I’d totally do it again this year – in a heartbeat. Next year its definitely a GO! (and if you’d come to Austin, I’d love to have you there!) Isn’t laughing & breaking bread with friends in your home the best?! Have fun!
    Amy in Austin, TX

  4. We our hosting our College Group for New Year’s for the second year in a row. We are going with a Mayan theme! I can’t wait, last year we were so busy playing games and laughing we completely missed the new year!

    As far as Christmas Parties my good friend has a candy making party every year. She provides drinks and food and we all go and spend the day cooking up Christmas candy. When we are all done we split the lot so we all get some of each kind! It never fails to be a blast.

  5. I saw a recipe for marinated cheese this morning and immediately decided that I would have it this holiday season. BUT, I need to have people around when I make it so I don’t eat the whole thing. That is as good a reason as any to throw a party, right?

    Enjoy yours!

  6. I have my high school friends for brunch at my parents’ house every year on Christmas Eve. It is hands-down my favorite Christmas tradition. It’s the only time of year we’re all together, so while they show up at 10 a.m., there have been years we’ve had to run people off late in the afternoon so we can get to Christmas Eve dinner! So, so fun!

    Hope you have a fun time at your shindig!

  7. For the past four years we’ve hosted a Caroling Party for our neighborhood. We live in a neighborhood with a good mix of young families, like ourselves, and older couples who love seeing us come around and attempt to sing Jingle Bells with 40 kids! It gets bigger and bigger each year. Our house is practically busting at the seams with kids and parents and cookies and hot chocolate afterwards. It has become one of our favorite traditions!
    On a unrelated note, I bought and served the Praline Mustard Glaze at the neighborhood cookie exchange and you were right, people did lose their minds! So different but so yummy! Thanks for telling the blogland about it!

  8. I have been in the same rut!!! I am really amping up the decorations this year and keep thinking – who is going to see it?! But then I talk myself out of it, because…I don’t know!!! This is my first year in 16 not working a full-time job…I need to do it! You have inspired me! :)

  9. anotherlisa says:

    no better motivator to clean my house, than to throw a party.
    please share your menu with us, and enjoy!

  10. I hosted one last night and it turned out quite differently than I expected. Perhaps it will give you a laugh.

  11. That is the most hilarious item of Christmas Home Decor I’ve ever seen. What a hoot. And whose stocking earns the place of honor on said armless Monkey?
    No parties, but I miss them. Used to go to a cookie-exchange party that was a delight.

  12. Jeannette says:

    I am going to a Christmas party this Saturday. I am thinking about taking a gingerbread house kit. And have everyone help decorate and eat it.
    Does anyone think this is a good idea?
    This is a singles (middle age) church group.

  13. Every year I invite my work friends over to watch The Snowman and enjoy Christmas cookies and other sweets. I think this is our 6th or 7th year, and it’s been fun to see how our group has changed from single girls to married girls to mamas who bring their kids along to watch the movie. It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

  14. While I don’t believe it will be true, we are throwing an End of the Word party on the 21st. The Mayans at least new the last day would be a Friday so we can party appropriately. We will decorate for an apocalypse and everyone is bring their ‘last meal’ to share. It should be lots of fun!

  15. Hahhaha!
    Boo mama, are you and Big mama related? I mean, somehow? Anyhow? I love how you call your husband “D” and she calls her husband “P” too funny for words! I don’t have a Christmas party traditions but I know that every New Year’s day, I head to my Grandma’s for some nicely fried chicken and a lot of laughter! Have fun throwing that party! :)

  16. Katherine says:

    That monkey is bad news!! You may have to start a new craze to rival Elf on the Shelf – you could call it “Monkey on the Mantel” and if kids didn’t behave, they would wake up to find the monkey on their bedside table or dresser staring at them. A Christmas tradition guaranteed to promote future therapy! LOL!

  17. I’m having Christmas Bunco tomorrow & going to cook up some yummy appetizers! Love the monkey. It’s original & fabulous.
    I’m cooking chicken & beef fajitas on Christmas day. I’m starting a new tradition for our family :)

  18. Now you’ve made me want to have a party! But I’m really too tired! I hope you have a wonderful time. Can I come?

  19. Last night I had a grown-up cookie decorating party and it was SO MUCH FUN! I made a couple dozen sugar cookies and had five friends over (who each brought cookies, SO MANY COOKIES) and we chatted and laughed and sprinkled. We ate many cookies and lots of snacks but I’m still left with three tubs of decorated cookies that will now become gifts for my neighbors. All around win! Plus, it was nice to have some friends over to see the decorations that my husband and I worked so hard on.