Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Party Ideas {& Christmas Home Tour}

Alright alright, I'll do a Christmas home tour. You twisted my arm.  Not really...but I have been dragging my feet about putting a together a post wrapping up all my DIY Christmas decorations.  Since I hosted a little Christmas dinner party the other night, I thought combining the two would be a great way to take you on a little home tour - while also sharing some Christmas party ideas.

Let me start off by saying I love to decorate and plan parties and the Christmas season is my favorite, so you know I was totally in my element.  I'm sure I seem like a total over-the-top hostess, but I actually enjoy all the little details that go into make it something special and something to remember.  This year we kept it simple and small and only had three other couples (minus our combined 9.5 kids) for the dinner party.   Technically, I guess the.5 was there....

Alright, let's get started...our guests were greeted at the front door surrounded by a whole bunch of  DIY Christmas front porch decorations.  I really did go all out this year making everything from the wood Be Merry sign to the three tomato plant Christmas trees.  The wreath was completely made over and the chair was a roadside find.  You can read all about my budget front porch here.

Once inside, you know how it goes - everyone gravitates to the kitchen.  That's where I had all the food.  Since we were having a small affair and didn't need big batches...I was able to try all new recipes .  My menu - which I had displayed as a faux chalkboard menu board (tutorial coming asap) - was on display right on the table to share with our guests and prevent the guessing game.

The chocolate peppermint mousse, the jalapeno bacon cheese ball, and the chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped dates were all a huge hit.   You can find all the recipes for them - and everything else I made - on my Christmas Party board on Pinterest.  


Personally, I loved the vodka and cranberry drink - which I served in wine glasses with DIY paper Christmas-themed wine charms. Not only was it tasty, it was a beautiful and I had it all to myself.  The other three ladies said the non-alci version was tasty, too...whatever, girls. :)

These girls are all from my moms night out group.  The funny thing about this group is each of these wonderful ladies was a friend of mine who I always referred to when speaking to the others - though none of them knew each other.  In the fall, I had an idea that I introduce them all to each other at a mom's night out dinner.  We enjoyed dinner that night - closed down the restaurant - and have done it every months since.  My husband knows all the husbands individually, but this little Christmas party was the chance for the husbands to meet each other and the other ladies.  Turns out it was like a sixth grade dance - all the ladies gathered and gabbed in my living room....and we didn't see the men for the rest of the night.

Us ladies enjoyed the view of the fire and decorated mantel along with our live Christmas tree.  Of course, it was like a game of I SPY the DIY as they were all giving me a hard time about how many DIY projects were in view - including my DIY pallet wood box which I change up to match the season, the square pine cone wreath and the West Elm inspired burlap mini tree.   

Meantime, the men retreated to the sunroom where the kids' handmade ornament tree is - to talk about who knows what: MMA? Football? Whatever it was, I'm sure it wasn't  kindergarten woes or labor war stories.

The sunroom also has a little bench with some DIY burlap Christmas pillows and a bar - which I decorated with two different types of garland.

One of my favorite things in this room is the large majority of our annual Christmas picture frames.  Until this year I displayed all of the pictures - in chronological order - on our mantel (as you can see below), but this year it was just too many in one spot so I put them in groups around the house.   They are one of my favorite Christmas traditions - started about 10 years ago by my husband's grandmother who gave us our first frame.   Each year, we get a new frame to add to the collection and it's fun to see how our family has grown and changed on the very same day every year.
We kept it more casual and didn't enjoy my dining room - although the table is set and ready for Christmas morning.  It's actually one of my favorite rooms in the house right now.

The log tea light center piece I made this year and the place settings are Pottery Barn-inspired, but not PB prices.  That dollar store knockoff tutorial is coming soon, too, I promise!  Can you see my up-cycled clementine crate center piece over there on the hutch? Here's a better view...I just love it so much I keep moving it!

That's about it! I'm sorry you couldn't join us for the party - but I sure hope you enjoyed our 2013 Christmas Home Tour. 

Thanks for stopping by 2IY! If you like what you see, we'd love for you to pin it!

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