Friday, December 22, 2006

Gingerbread Open House

This afternoon the kids and I went to a lovely party at a friend's house--her annual Gingerbread Open House. Her (beautiful, Italianate) home was gorgeously decorated, her Christmas tree was themed with the twelve days of Christmas (very clever), snacks and a huge earthenware punch bowl were on display, and a long table was laid out with the makings of gingerbread houses so all the children could build candy-covered cottages. I spent most of the time assisting Daisy with her gumdrops and acknowledging her admiring comments about the six-month old baby across from us ("She's tiny. She's this tiny. I love her. I want to hold her in my hands like this.").

While I was sitting I was appreciating the fact that Jane had gone to so much trouble to make a lovely afternoon for her friends. I was glad my girls were all in pretty dresses having a good time, that Felix was building a mighty gingerbread structure, and that Giles, though not in his element, was being polite.

Having been raised in a family so outsized and cumbersome that no one wanted to have us over (!), I am grateful for any invitations I receive now.


MamaBirdEmma said...

Your friend sounds lovely... How clever of her to decorate her tree with the 12 days of Christmas theme and come up with the idea for a Gingerbread party! I dream of these kind of creative aquaintences!


Jennifer in MS said...

Hey Anna,
I'm a friend of Kim B. She introduced your blog to me and I've enjoyed it immensely!
The gingerbread party sounds so fun! I too appreciate when someone invites our family of six over! I have a question for you concerning this.....when you invite a larger family over to eat with your family of 7, what's the best (think least expensive yet yummy and filling) thing you prepare? I enjoy inviting people over, but that's sometimes a struggle for me when I'm on a budget!

Anna said...

Hi Jennifer! So fun to put a face with the name Kim has been telling me about! I didn't know you homeschooled.

Cheap and nice? I like to do a big pot of chili with cornbread and coleslaw. Or several roast chickens, lots of mashed potatoes, and assorted vegetables. People also seem to enjoy a giant taco salad with stuff to put on it--I keep all the components separate and let everyone assemble their own. Anyone else have any good ideas?

Heather Anne said...

We often invite large families to our home for this very reason - we love large families! Perhaps someday we will be blessed though adoption again and expand our little family! In the meantime, when we have large families it's often for lunch - a smaller meal. I usually offer two kinds of homemade soup, lots of really good bread and a big simple salad. For dessert, there is nothing to a big batch of warm brownies with a scoop of good ice cream and a swirl of homemade chocolate fudge sauce. We try to keep things simple! That way it doesn't break the bank, it's easily done and I'm more likely to invite another large family if it is enjoyed by all!

Anonymous said...

I really love your blog. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and many blessings from God in the new year.

Mrs MacKenzie

Chrissy said...

Merry Christmas! I so enjoy your lovely blog. Thanks for being a source of inspiration :0)

Kendra said...

I may be giving away my location here, but where I live everyone loves a tamale feast. They can be made ahead of time and served with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, chile and a salad. Maybe even some homeade tortillas on the side. I just prepared two dozen for our Christmas Eve dinner. You can find a good, simple recipe here:

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

We used to host large parties of my daughter's university friends on a budget. We served what we called "college food" because students basically just liked to be fed!

I often made a crockpot full of the dip which is made with a pound of (cooked) ground beef, a large jar of salsa and Velveeta (16 ounces or more). My husband brought home a recipe from work which was the same but with a can of Cream of Mushroom, too.

They loved simple sandwiches like egg salad, tuna salad and ham rollups (cream cheese on ham and rolled up, then cut in slices).

My daughter and I would make cookies, too. For drinks, we served spiced apple cider and/or lemonade.

I loved the idea of the Gingerbread party. I will have to tell her about it for her friends next year.

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