I hosted the Anderson Family Christmas on Saturday. I prepped all my food/appetizers ahead of time and was organized, inspired and really had my act together. I was fully prepared to sit back and relax and enjoy the party. It was a good thought. But that is not what happened.
Here is the "casual" table for those adults with small children who need assistance and the tweens. The white tablecloth is a vintage favorite of my Grandma Kushman's. It has a few stains here and there but I adore it. It's a Christmas treat to pull this out year after year.
Vintage red doily from my first trip to Sweden. Vintage "Welcome" sign was my mom's from back in the day. I remember this from my childhood. The tall glass jar was in my bathroom filled with shells and beach glass and I emptied it for some Christmas balls instead.
The tree and great room before the chaos.
This is my vintage Moravian star that my mom had for a million moons and also a part of all my childhood Christmases. She gave it to me years ago. (do you see the pattern here? She downsized her holidays and I got the goods!) Sadly, the material is literally peeling away from the plastic and it had a funky smell. I need to get a replacement. I found them on Amazon for around $29 depending on the size. I'm hoping for an after holiday sale.
I am obsessed with these vintage Christmas tree balls that I found at a church thrift store for .25 cents a piece!!! These are in mint condition and strung them all together on fishing line and hung them across the doorway. These balls would cost a fortune in an antique store.
I love how they look across the doorway! I also love how everything is so perfectly set up and prepped. The sight after the party made me want to lie down in the fetal position and cry.
This is my new Cheese head nutcracker. He makes me so happy!
Here is a photo of our bar setup. I bet no one even had a drink (besides wine) but this made me very happy to have a full bar! This is the first time we set up shop in this "butlers pantry" area. It worked well. We even put out a pitcher of water here too so when anyone needed to refill their drink we just directed them to the bar.
This was our "elders table" setup. We pulled out all the fine china which gets used once a year if we lucky. The teak buffet that you see behind the table is where it is all housed when not in use. I had to dig through all my other collectibles. I realize I must stop buying! I am running out of room! I might be a hoarder. I'm an organized hoarder. That makes it better.
One of my favorite pieces of our fine China (Limoges pattern purchased from auction before we were married) is that gorgeous gravy boat! The butter "tray" (silver and glass) was Grandma Anderson's. The tablecloth is from Target but I found it new in the package at Goodwill. The lace runner is vintage from my mom. I think she got it from my Great Aunt Ruth's trip to Belguim. (all these treasures make me so happy!) So much history! I don't have any good napkin rings so I used some skinny and glittery bracelets. I contemplated some lovely red ribbon and a pine cone or something I could find around the house but at this point in the game I went for easy. My mother in law did a napkin fold called the king's crown and I she showed me how to do it years ago. These napkins weren't starched so it wouldn't work.
We set up another (plastic) folding table and chairs and continued the fine china.
I pulled out some individual lace doiley and put it over the top of a Santa runner with all my Kosta Boda candles.
This is a little cutesy vignette I set up on the shelves with family photos and Swedish themed items.
Mr. German Santa was a $1.00 find at the thrift village. He's vintage coolness.
This is another $1.00 thrift village find. A lovely little Swedish child pulling the bell on a straw heart.
SIGH~ 1968 copyright! The Night before Christmas book in mint condition by Clement C Moore. WITH velvet fuzziness on the clothes! I can't stand it! I paid 99 cents! They are going for $25 on Amazon!
This is a dark shot but I love how the tree looks.
Then I guess somebody decided to use a flash! See how dazed and confused I look?
This is Nathan and his mom Katie.
Nathan is wearing Hannah Andersson.
Here's Anna! Also wearing a matching Hannah outfit to her brothers!
Evan and his buddy Nathan.
Nephew Konrad. Coolest and nicest kid around.
Check out his cool hair! Way cooler than Justin Bieber's if I do say so myself!
And now I present to you the photos Lauren took when she took my camera....
A sippy cup....always a classic.
The top of the sugar bowl...
For the love of coffee....
And a kid finger to the left....
I am not sure why all my planning, preparing and organization skills (mad skillzzzzz yo!) did not enable me to relax, sit or enjoy the party. I got second degree burns on my thumb and forefinger and felt like I was shot out of a cannon. Hubs felt the same way and he only did half the work. I sat on the couch the following day in my PJs and drank the leftover wine and wondered what the hell had just happened! I love my family and love hosting because I feel I'm good at it. I believe in the saying "love is in the details."
Things other people probably don't even notice...I NOTICE. I go the extra mile. I Nate Berkus and Martha Stewart the shit out of things without spending a fortune. I do it with love. I do it from the heart. However, this year I think Mars was in retrograde or something because I was not present and I'm not sure I enjoyed the party. I think hosting a big party is like birthing a baby: It takes a year to forget the pain and then you can do it again!!!!!!!!
Luckily my bestie is in the house for the whole week! We drank wine last night and watched RHBH and Watch what happens Live with Andy Cohen and played the drinking game. (the word was GLEE!) It was joyous. It was a big Christmas present wrapped up in a velvet bow. We also took photos of Jasper our Elf on the Shelf. I'll happily share those photos with you tomorrow! That woman who writes the blog "People I want to Punch in the Throat" has got nuthin' on me!!! (But that's a WHOLE other post) I'm not sure I love her or hate her or want to punch HER in the throat, but one thing I will admit is that I'm jealous of her new found blogger stats and page views and facebook shares. Like my friend Jen said, "Crazy sells."