Every year my husband and I have the same exact Christmas party conversation:
Me: “Should we throw a Christmas party?”
Him: “If you want to!”
Me: “Hmmm… It’s always a lot of work. Nah, I’m gonna skip it this year.”
Five minutes later…
Me: “Actually, would the 14th work?”
And the thing is, it is always a lot of work, but I’ll be a roasted chestnut if this Christmas party is not one of the most enjoyable nights of the season for our family. So every year, I flip through cookbooks and magazines to dog-ear dozens of appetizers to prep, all by myself, in my single oven, over the course of 8 hours, on the day of the party. All while my accommodating husband and children try to stay out of my way, lest I unleash my pre-party wrath and start dolling out unrealistic demands like: MAKE THE LIVING ROOM BIGGER!!!
And it’s all totally worth it.
Okay, it’s worth it, but honestly, I could do without the 8 hours of semi-psychosis prepping for 2-3 hours of holiday cheer. So this year, I’m doing things a little bit differently. This year – I’m throwing a Magically Mediocre holiday party and here’s how I’m going to do it:
The Mediocre Invitations
In years past, mailed, paper invitations were a must. RSVPs were required and our guest list was extensive. This year, the small group of folks we invited were sent a cheery text from yours truly. RSVPs were deemed “cool”, but not required. Our request was simple:
Show up anytime between 5 and 8. Don’t bother with a sitter. No covered dishes.
Just show up, eat our food and talk in our ears.
The Mediocre Menu
I read an article once that said people do not want to try new and exciting foods when they attend a party; that they’d rather chow down on jalapeño poppers and 7-layer dip than pan-fried Shishito peppers and 3 different kinds of figs stuffed with creamy stuff. And because everything you read on the internet is inherently true, I took this advice to heart, headed to the freezer section of my local grocery store and picked out the following goodies:
Faux chicken fingers
A couple of pizzas
Vegetable spring rolls
And of course… Jalapeño poppers
Sure, I’ll throw together a few, easy homemade items – but the bulk of this year’s holiday fare is thanks to the good people at Aldi.
The Mediocre Decor
We can all agree that nothing says “Merry Christmas” better than an adorable, make-your-own hot chocolate bar and mini-Santa Claus appetizer labels, with the name of each dish handwritten in calligraphy on Santa’s beard.
We can also all agree that ain’t nobody got time for that.
Me? I’ll be throwing down a red, paper table cloth that I’m hoping is large enough to cover our dining room table, scattering a few candy canes and calling it a day.
Sure, we will have a fire in the fireplace and Karen Carpenter blasting, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume the giant, pine tree covered in lights in our living room will be decoration enough for everyone.
The Mediocre Attire
I curl my hair exactly three times each year. Traditionally, that’s come out to two weddings and one Christmas event. While I fully intent to fire up the ol’ curling wand for our mediocre merriment, I’ll be balancing out the look by walking around in white athletic socks for the entirety of the evening.
The Mediocre Clean Up
And so I pass on to you, the three secrets to throwing your very own, mediocre Christmas party. It may not be even close to the Pinterest-worthy soiree you had envisioned, but I promise that when you wake up the next morning to a kitchen full of recyclable cups, plates and serving platters, that can all be easily disposed of by scooping them up in a paper table cloth – you won’t regret it for a second.