My mother and I watch a lot of HGTV. Whenever they show home buyers, I am always perplexed as to why people buy homes for other people. I will hear comments like “Oh, we can have 415 people over in this dining room. I love to entertain!” I’m sitting in my mom’s house (because I don’t have cable) and am thinking to myself “You aren’t Puff Daddy! How many house parties are you throwing? Are you really going to drop $25,000+ in cash and $475,000+ in borrowed money to entertain people?”
I live in a 3 bedroom, 1180 square foot home (that doesn’t include the basement). I feel like it is way too much space. Half of the house (the dining area, third bedroom, and basement) isn’t used. Even though we are wasting space, I insist we stay because we live beside my mom. I wish I could live in a two bedroom apartment and leave half my stuff behind, but the babysitting and free Sunday dinners are just too good to give up!
I guess the moral of the preamble is that I believe my home should be functional for me and my family, not for visitors. I believe that a house is more or less a safe place to sleep, eat and relax. It isn’t a restaurant, coffee shop, lounge, game board cafe, or night club. I don’t want to clean up after anyone other than my kids. That is why I don’t have extra chairs, extra plates, or extra space in the front shoe closet for other people’s things. I probably sound like a grinch, but I don’t like people in my space. I am a friendly person. I am more than happy to spend time with you — Just not in my house :p
Hosting Christmas Dinner
Alright, so now my worst nightmare has come true: It is my family’s turn to host Christmas dinner! We have owned our home for threeish years and have managed to avoid hosting many family events including my children’s birthdays. I guess our luck ran out and 2016 was our year to host Christmas.
My husband and I decided that if we were going to host Christmas, we were either going to make it so horrible that no one wanted to come back or just do our own thing.
Here is what happened at our first Christmas Dinner!
We all crammed into our tiny house.
Dinner started at 4, but most of the family didn’t show up until 5:15/5:30. In all, there were about 27 of us. I had to steal seating from my mom’s house and utilize the stairs as a seating area. The slow trickle allowed us to adjust the space for additional people.
It wasn’t all that bad, we were all together in the living room which made for good interaction and conversation. Sometimes if dinner is hosted at other’s houses, our family ends up being scattered between the kitchen, formal dining room, living room and TV room.
There was food!
We had so much food! We had oxtail, chicken, lentils, avocado and beet salad, two kinds of rice, vegetarian cones, fish fritters, sliders, sushi, some other weird vegetarian stuff that my Aunt brought, and much much more. For drinks, my husband made some spiced eggnog and I made punch :).
Our kitchen is original 1980s, so there is a tiny peninsula, but we filled it with all the dishes and had a drink station (not photographed) in the dining area.
I made it very clear that I was not going to be doing dishes, so when I went to buy plantains, I happened along some disposable plates that looked decent. I was shopping with my husband and he was against the idea. “Okay,” I said, “I will only buy one pack, and you can wash whatever else is used.” By the time people showed up, I think my husband realized the error of his ways and we busted out some pink birthday plates. We said the “nice” plates were for the over 50s and the pink birthday plates were for the under 50s, haha.
It was pretty good in the end because we just threw everything away at the end of the night. Clean-up was minimal!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition
A family tradition is the ugly Christmas Sweater Competition! This year I came in 3rd, but luckily, my husband came in second, so we got two out of three prizes. We did a secret ballot and you can download the ugly-sweater-voting-ballot we used.
A newcomer, my cousin’s girlfriend, won! You can’t see it well but she has a dog necklace and photos of her boyfriend all over her front.
Ugly Sweater Closeup (Before Jazzing)!
I was really happy for it to be over! I love my family, but I felt drained after the whole thing. I don’t think that I am cut out for hosting, so hopefully, it is another three years before I have to again.
I hope you had a great Christmas!
How was your Christmas?