Friendsmas IV

This past weekend was our fourth annual Friendsmas celebration! What began as a late-in-the-game attempt at participating in the more widely acknowledged Friendsgiving phenomenon, has now morphed into one of mine, and many of our friends', favorite festive celebrations of the season.

That first year we opted for a potluck style feast. All (seventeen!) of us crowded 'round our dining table; it was a jolly, but, oh so cramped affair. Over the years the guest list has increased and I've come to accept my culinary limitations, thus we've since switched to the more approachable standard cocktail fête, featuring delicious beverages and tasty apps.

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This year to rein in the work load I went super low-key on the food, intentionally purchasing mostly ready-made treats from Trader Joes (and took a risk on those ever so picturesque macarons from the freezer section at Bakers...) This way I could focus on making two simple but scrumptious appetizers – Saucy Asian Meatballs, and Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostinis.

Both were good, but the real star of the evening was Bethany's cheese/charcuterie board pictured below. It really was a thing of beauty. Also, a bonus that our friend Kyle (Bethany's cousin) happens to be a Certified Cheese Professional and hand selected each component creating the most well-rounded, robust assortment of all.   

I didn't get a picture of the punch (though I did get into trouble with the punch, per usual...), but Laurel, Kat, and Adrienne made the Friendsmas classic: Pomegranate Champagne Punch and kept it flowing all night. 

We sang carols.

We laughed.

We ate cheese.

And everyone, this is Bethany. Not only did she make a bomb cheese tray, but she is also responsible for talking me down from my ledge when hours before the party the base of my Christmas tree broke causing it to fall flat on the floor, shattered ornaments everywhere, me stunned and in tears. The symbolism was palpable. In that moment, that tree, face down on the ground and defeated, that was me for sure.

Luke raced home on his lunch break and tried to help me salvage it, but all the king's horses and all the king's men... I almost buckled and canceled the whole party (because I'm rash and incredibly emotionally charged), but Bethany came over and kept the rest of the party prep going while I fumbled around the house in search of a MacGyver solution. Eventually I landed on disembodying one of my dress forms from its base and used that to prop the tree back up. On the plus side, it now rolls.  

And that's the story of how Friendsmas IV was saved.

Happy Christmas season to you all! May it be filled with minimal tears, great friends, and a lot of delicious cheese.