Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Work Home and Family - Our 12 Days of Christmas Party (Menu and Review)

So, one of the things we're trying harder to do this year is to celebrate the church year in our home.  The church year starts either late October or early November with Advent, then travels through Christmas, Epiphany, and on through the rest of the church year.  We started with Advent, giving us some time to get into the school year and all it entails before jumping into "additional" things.

Christmas officially starts on December 25th and continues through 12 days until Epiphany. Since the tree and all of our other decorations stay up until Epiphany (January 6) we thought a good way to "end" Christmas would be to have a 12 Days of Christmas Party.

I read here about 12 Days of Christmas Dinner/Party and thought it sounded  like a really fun idea to try.  My parents were here and our good friends wanted to make sure they got to see them while they were here, so the four of them plus our family got to be our guinea pigs, so to speak.

After it was all said and done I realized that neither my Dad nor I had taken a single photo.  How's that for neglectful?  *Sigh*

I had typed up the lyrics to the song along with the meaning of each verse/stanza (whatever they're called) and then the menu on the back with what we were having to coincide with each verse.  I added some free clip art that appealed to me, and we sang the song and chatted just a bit about the meaning while enjoying the food and the company of our friends.

Anyway, we had a great time, though it seemed like a ton of work at the time, and I thought I'd share the menu with you.  The other menus I have seen have been a combination of appetizers and desserts but I wanted an actual 3-course meal. (I know what was I thinking?).

Here's what we came up with:

Appetizers:
* Frozen Quiche Appetizers (Drums - 12 Drummers Drumming)
* Deviled Eggs (Six Swans A-Swimming)
* Three types each of cheese and crackers (Three French Hens - we chose "French" cheese for this)

Main Course:
* Cornish Game Hens (Two Turtle Doves)
* 9- Fruit Salad (Nine Ladies Dancing)
* Breadsticks (Flutes - Eleven Pipers Piping - though my clip art had bagpipes! Ha!)
* 7-Layer Salad (Seven Swans a-Swimming)
* Noodle Ring Pasta Salad (Five Golden Rings) (John wanted Onion rings but he was the only one!)

Desserts:
* Chocolate Dance Shoes (Ten Lords a-Leaping)
* Baked Pears stuffed with Pecans and Brown Sugar (A Partridge in a Pear Tree)
* Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Punch (Eight Maids a-milking)

Drinks:
* Water, Milk, Orange Juice and Lemonade (Four Calling Birds) (Yes, this is lame but it was the only thing we could come up with that fit with everything else - and we intended to have wine instead of the orange juice but didn't make it to the liquor store before the party!).

In retrospect it wasn't as much work as it could have been since we made the salads, breadsticks, chocolate shoes, punch, and deviled eggs the day before.  The pears were prepped and just had to be put in the oven as we sat down for the main course.  And roasted Cornish game hens are super easy anyway and all we had to do was bake the quiche.

We did this buffet style since our house is tiny and I honestly think all appetizers and desserts would work better with a buffet style (maybe that's why "everyone else" is doing that!).

I realized afterward that part of the reason this felt like SO much work was that we had the additional company of my husband's parents and youngest brother for Friday and Saturday before had the party on Sunday so all the prep had to be done around that visit - so I stayed up way too late, working in and around the small pieces of time that we were home and not entertaining them. I think if we had done this without having that extra company right before - or if we had included it as part of entertaining them -  it wouldn't have felt like so much work.  

What do you think?  How would you celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas at your house? And what would you have for the Four Calling Birds?

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