Saturday was my ugly sweater secret santa gift exchange (say that five times fast). In a month of searching for joy, having an ugly sweater party with good friends is a sure fire way to locate it. Since I moved into my new place in March and have extra storage and slightly more space I have been adding to my holiday decorations collection. Christmas is no exception. Target and I have been best buds since early November as I find more and more ways to add the holiday spirit to my place. This party was the ultimate showcase and the fabulously timed winter weather was an excellent touch.
The food was low-key. I wanted to make sure it was all about human interactions and not about a big meal. I feel like creating this kind of laid back atmosphere makes people want to linger longer than just eating and leaving.
I bought some heat and serve appetizers, three Trader Joe’s pizza’s, and I had my friend bring cheese and jam. Find yourself a friend who is a cheese connoisseur…or lives within close proximity to The Rhined in Cinci. This selection was the perfect addition, and maybe even the showcase item to our appetizer spread. I only made two items from scratch and those were my desserts. I made cannoli dip served with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and pretzel chips and this pumpkin gingerbread from Hummusapien. While we didn’t get to taste the bread at the party I taste tested it the next day for breakfast and it is an absolute must make. The cannoli dip came out after our gift exchange during a round of Dirty Minds and it was extremely well received. I used extra large dark chocolate chips instead of regular milk chocolate and locating them in a sea of delicious cream cheese and sugar is incredibly fun.
I really like having a signature drink at my parties. For Thanksgiving it was spiked apple cider and for this party it was sangria. This drink was Christmas in a cup. It was easy to make and was actually better made ahead which is my favorite kind of party drink. Along with a signature drink I also really enjoy creating party playlists. I feel like it helps add to the festive mood and honestly, this close to Christmas I am happy to have some of the classics on repeat. Check out some of the pictures below. I am not sure what happened with my camera but some are a bit grainy.
Ha! I forgot my snapchat had a caption but you get the idea it was gorgeous out. Did you have a Holiday party this year? If you have one in the next week consider using these awesome recipes and absolutely let me know if you enjoy them as much as we did!