Wisdom Comes Suddenly

The Christmas Eve Champagne Brunch

January 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

CB Me and Goo!

Christmas doesn’t come without Goomommy. Go ahead, Google it. I’m so right.

A better title for this gathering would be, “The Christmas Eve Champagne Brunch, Holiday Tea, a little wine, A Hot Chocolate Bar, and Oh Good Lord, why does Lori always make too much food?” Or maybe the most fitting title is, “I’d never attempt a stunt like this without Goomommy being in town for a visit. No way, no how.” I push my limits with my Mother-In-Law at my side. She helps me learn as I go, and catches me when I fall short. We like to tease each other for doing too much, but seriously, when it comes to hosting, we are SO cut from the same cloth.

CB Champagne

For as much work as I put into this gathering, even with the holidays at hand, I am totally making this a tradition. It was super festive, and super fun seeing my friends on Christmas Eve. Such a great way to kick off everyone’s favorite 2-day party. OK, so the planning: I sent out paper invitations, and then I just started randomly inviting people because when I get it into my head I’m going to host “a small gathering”, I usually ix-nay that plan pretty quickly. More is more at the holidays. By the end, we had 35 guests, and that was just perfect. 75 would have been great too. Or 15. Or 50. Numbers are pretty irrelevant to me, but you knew that already.

CB Turkey Sliders


So, the menu. Prepare yourself. I left no stone un-turned or pot unused. Or dish left in a cabinet. Or bowl. And we used all the champagne glasses.

(1) Spiced Turkey Medallions with Tomato Jam; I turned these into sliders for the party, but the bread was unnecessary. Just keep them as medallions.

(2) Sweet Potato Hash; A huge thank you to Uncle Randy for showing me how to make this amazing recipe. I’ve served it at two brunches, and well…yum.

(3) Holiday Mini-Cheese Balls

(4) Minted-Pea Crostinis

CB Pea and Cheese Apps

(5) Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey

(6) Clementine Iced Tea

(7) A Hot Chocolate Bar; I didn’t get any pictures of this, but it was for the kids, primarily. I had Crème Brulée and White Chocolate Hot Chocolate, along with marshmallows, whipped cream, 3 types of crunched toppings, and candy canes. I “had” a hot chocolate maker and server, which I won’t do again. It was cheap, it was awesome, and it broke.

(8) Hot Teas: Black English, Peppermint, and Cinnamon-Cardamon

(9) Ice Water, Coffee, White Wine, and Red Wine

(10) A Shrimp Tray, a Fruit Tray, and a Salad

CB Sweets Table

(12) The Sweets Table, everyone’s favorite. I had mini-apple fritters, donuts, a plate of Christmas cookies, Bark Cookies, Buckeyes, a Chocolate Chip Pie, and some breads. About 99% of this was thanks to Goomommy.

(13) And of course, CHAMPAGNE (cocktails and straight up). “I only drink champagne on two occasions. When I am in love, and when I am not.” -Coco Chanel. True story.

CB Me and Kathy

My favorite partner-in-crime, Kathy. We are DANGEROUSLY capable. Seriously. You should see us clean a PTA Closet. People get hurt.

But what makes a party is not what you serve, or how perfectly warmed your buffet. It’s your friends and family. My house filled with my favorite people to start the annual celebration of Jesus’ arrival. THAT’S what makes my parties so special…love. Everywhere, spilling off the counter tops and getting all over everything. The sun poured through the windows, the air was sprinkled with Christmas music on the Sonos, and it was a gigantic smile-fest for hours. I walked into Christmas Eve service feeling so full of joy and gratitude, even with laryngitis, I sang out the carols.

CB Besties

If anything ever happened to Amie & Kellie, I’m fairly certain I would turn to dust immediately.

You will hear from Greg almost daily, “Is this something you’d rather ask Amie or Kellie? This feels like an Amie/Kellie conversation.”

Music, laughter, clinking of coffee cups, and just everyone so glad to have made it to the finish line. I held the party from 10 am to 2 pm, but next time I’ll do this open house style from 11 am – 2 pm. There were those with holiday plans and traditions which means they couldn’t make it. There were those who were happy to take a short break between the rush between family and church to spend a few minutes with friends. And then there’s my continued attempts to find traditions that work for my own family. My parents are dear friends, and their spouses get along very well, but they live 100 miles apart (my house sits square in the middle). And when we’re not in DC for Christmas with Greg’s parents, they are usually in Indiana with us. Plus church. Plus my sister’s family. Plus my Grandfather who isn’t healthy enough to leave his house. Plus my Aunt & Uncle who flew in. I know…most of you are expert jugglers as well. The math for me includes 5 families, 5 different religions and traditions, located in 3 different cities on Christmas. Champagne, anyone?

CB Gifts

Papa Bill brought work-out gym-like gifts?! NO WAY. How unexpected (wink).

This brunch allowed EVERYONE to get together in one place, without me having to spend Christmas driving all over the state. Now that my kids know the score at Christmas, I’m done spending the holiday in my car. In fact, I didn’t even get dressed on Christmas. Once Christmas Eve services were over, I turned into a hermit, which is how I like it. In fact, I haven’t left my house in 3 days. I might be growing roots.

CB Craft Table

Craft table was only 2nd to the Hot Chocolate Table. Aren’t I glad NOW that I can’t afford furniture in my sitting room? It made for a great kid room.

I did learn a great hosting “thing” from my new friend, Amy. She’s a teacher, and invited our family to a holiday gathering at her home this season. SHE’S the one who had the super-hip hot chocolate bar, and gave each child a holiday-themed scavenger hunt upon entering the door, and then had a table set up for crafts. Greg and I couldn’t stop talking about how well entertained our children were, especially at a party where they didn’t know many people. I shamelessly copied every one of her tricks. I’ll never plan another family party without putting equal thought into kid’s activities. I’m great at “adult parties”, and I’m great at “kid parties”, but I’ve never thought about the combination of the two. I didn’t want to just banish them to the basement with a movie on Christmas Eve. Not very “festive”.

CB Gifts Galore

We’re almost there gang! Next I’ll share my annual crafting post, with this year’s theme being Hostess Tackle Boxes. It was a load of fun. Maybe a weird gift? I’m not sure. It’s possible that not everyone enjoys hosting as much as I do? But you gotta try new things! Traditions start somewhere! I hope this New Year has greeted you with health. I’m at Day #14 of viral laryngitis with a weird rash. I hate viruses. But I’m not overly miserable, and I do have a clean chest Xray, so to sum up: I’m still happy with 2016. Godspeed, my friends!!

Tags: The Girls