Our family hosted a festive holiday brunch this past weekend. We had it a tad early for two reasons. First, we wanted to be sure we celebrated the holiday prior to the movers coming to pack up our apartment for the impending move stateside. Second, isn’t it much more fun to stretch out the holiday by celebrating it stat?
the holiday eats
Like Halloween, I started chili in the days before the brunch as I observed how popular it was. Additionally, we made a bacon and vegetable quiche, muffin cup-sized vegetable frittatas, herb chicken goat cheese macaroni, and latkes day-of. The dough for the quiche was made the night before.
I was surprised about how popular the frittatas and quiche ended up being. The frittatas were so easy for little ones to eat and the quiche was a hit with the parents.
the holiday treats
My husband also baked two pumpkin pies. It is one of my favorite desserts and I just don’t think seasonal squash gets it’s due! Like the dough for the quiche, the dough for the pies were made the night before.
I modeled much of treats on the Pamper Pirate’s Halloween party: sugar cookies, frozen bananas, and cupcakes. Like Halloween, we packed a pair of sugar cookies in each of the take-home goody bags for the littles.
the holiday goody bags
I prepared the holiday goody bags with the Pamper Pirate a few days before the party. (Personal note: I made up hot chocolate from Burdicks as procured from their Georgetown outpost. Super seasonal, super delicious, and I loved making that holiday memory with our little one.) Additionally, I used the metallic confetti paper from the Halloween shipment to stuff the goody bags, along with the sugar cookies.
the grownup drinks
Like Halloween, we served red snappers and mimosas for the adults. Make a pitcher of the former a few minutes prior to guests arriving and make sure to have lime wedges, celery stalks, and bacon salt on hand.
crafts for the little ones
While I know we can lean on the toys in the six foot by six foot play pen, I like to offer at least one craft for each child to bring home. The Halloween wreath was a hit, as was the birthday make-your-own-puppet. (Both are sure to be repeated at future parties or until the Pamper Pirate’s requests a new craft. )
For the holiday party, I knew we would have observers of different religions and as such, I procured a Hanukkah craft and a Christmas craft. Of course, attendees were not restricted to one or the other. Not to sound woke-ish, but it is my hope that this opens up opportunities for little ones to learn about cultures other than their own.
The Pamper Pirate and I test drove the craft together in order to trouble shoot any potential issues. We did not find any, largely thanks to not needing any glue. His ornament now had a home on our tree.
This brings me to the decorations. Other than our tree, we did not decorate for the holiday. I will say that I wrapped all of the Pamper Pirate’s gifts earlier that usual, and set them next to the tree on a long table that runs next to it and covers our electrical transformer. I also set out our stockings on said table as we do not have a fireplace. Lastly, I like to stack the Pamper Pirate’s holiday books on the table as well.
about our tree
Our tree is artificial. This is the holiday life of a ever-moving family.
Allow me to back up. Growing up in a military family, I never knew whether we were going to get a tree when we lived abroad. Often the selection was lackluster, lots of Charlie Brown trees. When we received word that we were moving to Asia, I immediately ordered a fake prelit tree from one of those stores that nearly everyone registers from for weddings. Cut to half of the lights being out immediately after setting it up and having to drag it to the nearest brick and mortar location in order to get it out of our little apartment.
I gave the Balsam Hill, the Cathedral Fir in seven and a half feet (though it also comes in a nine foot option) a shot, despite having misgivings about prelit trees based upon our first experience.
Genius move, really. The lights work! I love the skinny shape, as it works in more areas than a standard full shaped tree. I know my little one will always have a Christmas tree every year and we will not have to string lights on it.
When we return to the states, I see this tree going in the sitting room or dining room and a real tree going in the family room.