retro italian christmas

In my family we celebrate Christmas with the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It is the only time of year when we move all of the furniture out of the living room to make room for two long tables and 19 guests. The night is a huge party that lasts until 1AM, complete with videos, singing, jokes, a bonfire, and plenty of delicious food and drinks. This year my parents came up with the idea of a retro Italian theme. Our living room was transformed with tinsel, big colored lights, glittery bells, melted snow trim, a nativity scene, and multiple santa figures. The effect was spot on. I helped to decorate the tree with metallic glass balls, Santa faces, and other ornaments. I helped set the table with popping crackers and Santa place cards. Can you tell how much fun we had?

 

 

 

Pom poms and pomanders

The weekend before Christmas I hosted a girls-only holiday craft party.  

10 of my girl friends fit perfectly in my apartment. We chatted and laughed, with homemade buttered rum, chocolate desserts, and every color of yarn you could want. I taught a tutorial on how to make a pom pom, using either a fork or a toilet paper roll. We made pom poms for our hair, our gifts, our hats, and each other. Some of us wrapped up gifts and created stamped gift tags. I also offered oranges and cloves to create pomanders. The pomanders smelled heavenly and looked so pretty with their red bows. 

 

A craft party is busy and messy but a lot of fun. 

 

4th of july bbq

This year my family threw a fourth of July BBQ party. We invited close family friends to join us and our relatives from out of town. With my newly recognized interest in party planning, I was excited to help out in creating an invitation, setting tables, and creating some fancy herb sugar garnish for watermelon. 

 My parents put in a lot of work when hosting a party, but it is work that is done with care and love. My dad hung tarps in the backyard to protect us from potential rain. He mowed the lawn and sprayed to keep the mosquitoes away. He lit tiki torches and moved the furniture all around until it seemed just right. My mom picked flowers from the garden to put in vases. She stirred a crock pot of pulled pork and husked ears of corn, brushing away all the pesky hairs. She put out American flags by the porch and tinsled skewers in the pasta salad. Watching my parents, I know why I like this type of work. Watching the guests, talking, tasting, and staying dry, I know it was a successful party.