House all "decked" for the holidays, and no one but family to share it with? May I suggest a few fun holidays get-togethers that don't have to break you up, but allow Mom's a night out with friends? The following are fun and inexpensive get-togethers which will be enjoyed by everyone but won't have to cost a fortune to host:
1. Invite a few friends and have a Baking Party. Keep your list according to the number you can comfortably fit in your kitchen. Make a list of the items you intend to make and have each person bring the ingredients for a batch or two of their favorite candy or cookies, plus a container to take home their "stash". Since you'll have plenty of sweets to sample, make a cheese ball and serve soft drinks. A friend and I did this faithfully for many, many years. We split the cost of the ingredients and each had a good supply for family and friends.
2. Host a Goody Exchange where everyone brings already prepared batches of their favorite treat and a container and exchanges with everyone else at the party. Keep refreshments light for less work.
3. Get 4-5 friends and load up for House Tours. My family has done this several times. The kids stay home with the hubbies playing cards and we all get to share our holiday decorations with the others.
I offered to be the last house and had a table of goodies, hot chocolate and hot cider before returning for the kids.
4. We're probably one of few families who love to get together and visit neighbors and shut-ins caroling. Afterwards share hot drinks and cookies. A little of your time can brighten someone else's holiday.
5. For several years my sisters and nieces have made a "traditon" of shopping the after Thanksgiving sales together. It's an all-night event with lots of fun and great buys,try it--you"ll like it! And you'll have plenty of extras to shop for the various items you'd otherwise have to stand in line to get.
Christmas fun doesn't have to be elaborate, stressful parties. Just a tip, I had a holiday party last night and refreshments were light (a cheeseball and crackers, chips and dip and I bought two boxes of cheap colorful holiday cookies for $1.50 each and a bag of fudge stripe cookies for $1.00 and arranged them on a pretty platter.) They were every bit as pretty as a store-bought tray which would have costed $10 or more. Make your own holiday fun this year. Making memories doesn't have to cost a fortune!
By Sharon S. from Ravenna, Ky