The much-anticipated night came and went. Fourteen tons of holiday food were devoured. Games were played. Visiting was accomplished. And we all went to bed with tummy aches (something to do with fourteen tons of food being devoured, no doubt) and hurt faces (from laughing so much over six hours).
The pratty began at 4:00 PM and didn't end until after 11:00. We have so much fun together, it is often hard to kick them out. As with most family time, the theme of the evening was eating. I even removed the kitchen chairs so as to reduce the items preventing frequent and easy accessibility to the Snack Table. The menu this year was amazing! T'liese and Joe brought her world-famous caramel corn, a fruit platter with dip (I know, we were shocked, too), and spinach artichoke dip with baguettes necessary to smother the (healthy) goodness. Jeff and Megan brought some Muddy Buddies and pickle ham wraps, which are always delicious. I hosted this year, which meant I had lots of excuses to make too much. We set up a hot chocolate bar and also had wassail in the slow cooker. On the table, John and I made mint Oreo truffles, lemon poppers, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese and whipped cream frosting, homemade salsa with authentico fresh tortilla chips, and dream bites (kind of a blond brownie with coconut). We also had peanut and plain M&Ms, mixed nuts, and Hershey Kisses to nibble on. Needless to say, the table was packed. And everything tasted so good! I was a little worried when people said they were full after just an hour. Miraculously, they found their second (then third, fourth, and eventually twentieth) wind and hit the table time and again! I didn't want to be stuck with all that food afterwards (that's partially true), so I thought in advance to get some Christmas plastic containers to send some goodies home with them.
We played Scattergories, one of our favorite get-together games, and I learned a valuable lesson. Halfway through the game, do not announce your present score to the rest of the group as they will proceed to vote down every single answer you make from that point forward. I still managed to win, but it required some serious effort. My family is rather, how do you say, competitive? And they cheat if it means some extra points. I really have to be on my toes to make sure fair play is in effect.
It was terrible when the evening came to a close. Megan and T'liese ate so much that they looked pregnant! Megan just hit 35 weeks, and T'liese is at 31 weeks. Within two months, we will have two more mouths to feed at these family gatherings. I better start baking now in preparation...