This was not technically our first Christmas in our new house. Last year we closed and got our keys on Dec. 23rd and had a small Christmas celebration with the following evening with Jacob's folks, brother and niece and nephew, but this WAS our first full on Christmas... and we were asked to host Christmas Eve dinner for his extended family!
I LOVE hosting. I enjoy the planning, organizing, decorating, etc. that goes along with it. And, with the beautiful house that I am fortunate to have, hosting large parties in an option.
(Room for dinner parties/etc. was one of the requirements that I had when we were house hunting).
Several weekends ago, in preparation for the holiday, we went out to Sandy, Oregon to a Christmas tree farm to find our perfect tree (this is something that I haven't been able to do in YEARS! I haven't had a big enough living space to have a tree in quite some time. I was more than a little excited to finally be able to get one!)
Then it was time to hang our ornaments! I had a BIG tote of Christmas stuff that has been sitting untouched for years, and Jacob's folks passed along his ornaments a couple of years back. We decided to steer clear of the traditional colored "filler" ornament balls and leave our tree completely decorated in "memories".
I also set up my Christmas "village" and some lights. The village is still pretty small... only a couple of buildings. But, like I said, I haven't had the opportunity to really decorate for the holiday in quite some time. And, to be able to have MY piano to put it on was an even greater gift.
As the hosts for Christmas Eve dinner, we expected about 24 guests, which meant we needed to move some furniture and arrange our "great room"/formal living room for dinner seating for two dozen. With the big "L" shape that we have in our living/dining room we can totally do it! lol I LOVE that!
When the majority of our guests had shown up for the potluck style event (Jacob's family does a waffle/breakfast bar for Christmas Eve dinner with everyone bringing an item) the cooking started... family style! (Meaning: I didn't have to cook solo for 24! Woo!) =)
After a filling dinner of waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage and a variety of different appetizers and desserts, it was time to clean up, relax, socialize and open some white elephant gifts... in our OTHER big room (I'm so lucky!)
The evening went off without a hitch. Jacob and I both enjoyed spending some time with the family and playing hosts for the big event. We were also happy for all of the yummy breakfast left-overs that we were left with!. ;) Our guests were all gone by about 10:30, and we had some time to rest and relax before our Christmas Day festivities... which I'll cover in another post! =)