Stress-free Christmas party

As moms, the holidays mean adding more “to do” to our already lengthy “to do” list. There is decorating the house (both inside and out), buying and coordinating the children’s Christmas clothes, determining the best gifts for everyone on the list, purchasing those gifts (gotta keep within that budget!!), wrapping gifts, children’s Christmas performances, baking cookies, sending out Christmas cards, trying to keep the peace with extended family members/in-laws, and doing it all with Holiday cheer (come on big smiles ladies!). Wouldn’t it be nice to just escape for an evening?

Why not make this dream come true and host a Stress-free Christmas party for all your girlfriends.
Last night I hosted my first (what will hopefully become annual)  Stress-free Christmas Party. All the moms in my playgroup were invited to escape from their holiday obligations and head on over to my home for some holiday fun. But there were a few rules in order to truly endorse a stress-free party .

Here are the rules for a Stress-free Christmas party

1. Everyone is to bring a food item/dish.
2. NO COOKING or BAKING!! No one is to cook or bake anything that they bring. You must grab whatever is in your refrigerator or pantry. (Half eaten bag of chips, olives, cheerios, apples, slices of cheese, you get the idea).
3. NO DRESSING UP! Everyone must come dressed in comfortable clothes. Come dressed in your comfy PJs, lounging clothes, anything that is relaxing and comfortable.
4. Everyone is to bring a gift to share.
5. NO ONE IS TO PURCHASE A GIFT!! You must look around your home for an item that you are not attached to and wrap it. (Pot holder, book, sweater, figurine, anything!!)

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Christmas decorations

The moms arrived around 7pm dressed in their comfy lounging clothes or PJs, with their Christmas gifts in hand, and food item from their pantry/fridge. I was excited to see what they would bring but surprisingly there was not anything too random.  Just your basic shortbread cookies (I think she cheated and bought those), half bag of coconut marshmallows, M&M ice cream cake, and Pop corn. I had some food on hand for us to munch on.

The table of hors d’oeuvres included Sushi

Vegetables and Dip
Petit Fours
Roasted vegetables pizza cooked on a stone, yummy!
Aunt Cami’s famous Rum Balls
Cucumber water, so refreshing
Centerpiece on the hors d’oeuvres table

Once everyone had a plate of food and a glass of wine we made our way over to the non-existing fire (try as I might I could not get that thing going, we have a wood burning fireplace) and talked, and talked, and talked.  It was so nice to have a conversation with friends without being interrupted by a child whining, falling, or needing their butt wiped. I hated to interrupt the conversation to do the White Elephant exchange but it had to be done.

So we started the exchange and I can confidently say that it seemed like everyone actually received a gift they enjoyed.  There was a beautiful metal sign, placemats, cookbook, candle, earrings, and vase with flowers (which I snagged from another mom).

I snagged this awesome vase and flowers, jealous?

It was such an enjoyable fun evening I hated to see it end.  But, like Cinderella’s fairy Godmother said, when the clock strikes midnight the magic will disappear, and that it did. At midnight the magical stress-free party transformed back to reality and moms came to the realization that morning will come early and many people would be depending on them.

Each guest left with a Peppermint Stick Coco mix in a Mason jar.
My son had fun choosing the fabric we used on the jar lids and helping make the coco mix

Thankfully, like Cinderella, each mom did get to leave with proof that the stress-free party did actually occur.  No, they did not receive glass slippers but they did receive small gift to help them live happily ever after. Each mom was given Peppermint stick coco mix to share with their family after sledding, making snow angels, and snowmen, on cold winter afternoons.

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