As I wrote last year, my husband and I host a holiday dinner party every December. This year marked the 5th annual Maxwell Holiday Dinner Party. I love having all of our friends over and listening to their laughter fill our home. As I've also mentioned before, I prefer sending out real invitations as opposed to evites. Even though I could have simply called/facebooked/emailed every one that attended, I thought it would be nice for them to get a special invitation in the mail. Usually I hand make the invitations, but this year I decided to step it up a little. While I wanted to order custom invitations, I still wanted to be as frugal as possible. Snapfish is probably my favorite site for all things photo related, and they always have great coupon codes and promotions. However, I couldn't find just what I wanted. I browsed several different sites until I found what I wanted, and then redesigned it myself in Publisher and uploaded the image into a blank card design that Snapfish offers. Here's the finished product.
|Here's the front...ignore the white lines, that was just private info :)|
|The full inside|
This year was extra special as there were three little ones to love on! Until a few months ago, Bailey had been the only kid in our group, but now there have been two cute little babies added also. So that meant we had 12 adults and three little ones! It was a full house indeed.
|Baby Claire and baby Drew.|
|Look at that smile!|
|That giraffe tasted good!|
|My cowgirl and her Christmas tree.|
|Bailey getting her practice in holding a baby!|
Now, on to the food. I decided to put the food that I would be providing in the invitation so that everyone else knew what was needed/what was available to bring. We ended up with a great selection of food and desserts! This year we decided to brine and roast the turkey instead of frying it. I thought it turned out terrific! The meat was very juicy, and by following Alton Brown's recipe, we ended up with a wonderfully brown bird. The mashed potatoes were of course, The Pioneer Woman's, and so was the macaroni and cheese. I made the rolls using this recipe, and they are delicious, and very easy! The broccoli casserole and dumplings are just simple recipes that I've gotten from family members.
Brooke brought her requested broccoli slaw that was a big hit from last year, Brittany provided the appetizers to hold everyone over until dinner was ready, Emily came bearing a rum cake and brownies, Elyse brought a rice dish and Shana brought corn, green beans and these fabulous cake pops!
I'm afraid I wasn't the most entertaining hostess after the dinner was finished. I was so exhausted after being on my feet all day preparing everything and I felt like my back was going to give out at any minute. After cleaning up I pretty much stayed on the couch the rest of the evening. While I was kind of a bump on a log, I enjoyed listening to everyone have a good time.
I love all these people and am so thankful that they let me play hostess and get the "I wanna be Martha Stewart" tendencies out of my system.
The guys. It looks like they called each other to coordinate!
The whole gang!