The best Christmas Celebrations are those spent with people you love. In pajamas with slippers, robes, and Sangria. Pigtails optional.
Almost every year for the last 15, I’ve hosted a Christmas Party of some kind. Sometimes I invite a bunch of girls over, other times I invite couples, and a few years, I’ve just invited a small group of girls – aka my coffee friends (THESE gals). It depends on what’s going on, or how much stress I can manage that year. Because let’s be real. Christmas stress is a THING.
THIS year has been extremely stressful for me. I’ve had chronic foot pain since I was 23 years old, acting up whenever it feels like aggravating me. I guess I’ve been overdoing it lately – too many hours of standing in my kitchen in my socks and not taking care of my situation, which is different than most. The stress is coming from the fact that it is difficult to walk right now. Yes. It hurts to walk. And stand. 🙁
So when I told the “coffee girls” that I wasn’t going to be able to host this year, Julie came to my rescue. She’s one-in-a-million! I’ve known her the longest, as she was our back-alley-neighbor at our old house. We met one night when our colicky newborn, Zach, was non-stop screaming while I paced with him outside. Needless to say, I probably startled Julie’s family into coming over to see what the “fuss” was all about. 🙂
I’ve known the other special ladies since our oldest started elementary school. Cathy’s family had just moved in next door, and they still live there, thankfully. Terry, Lisa, and Cathy all had kids in the same first grade class with our oldest, Josh, and we moms hit it off from the get-go. It wasn’t long and we were meeting for coffee almost weekly (often juggling part-time work schedules), discussing everything under the sun – from heartbreak and sadness, to joy and celebration. Over the years, we’ve added a 6th lady to our coffees – Bailey(s) Irish Cream. Sorry, not sorry. 🙂
In addition to several other friends (and of course, my family), these ladies have been my rock for the last several years. During Mike’s cancer journey, our oldest son’s immune deficiency treatment, and any other day-to-day frustrations, they’ve been there for me. These four angels came to sit with me at Baylor Plano while Mike had his first surgery. They broke away from family obligations the day after Christmas to hold my hand and cry and pray with me, while telling funny stories to distract me. They called to check on me a million times, helped me with the boys, and we met for coffee regularly as well.
While our family has had our challenges, the other girls have had their share as well. Other cancer journeys (yes, plural), back surgery, a brain aneurism, the frustrations of parenting, and just life. It’s crazy to think of all that has happened over the last 15 years. You name it. We’ve had it.
So I wasn’t too surprised to see these ladies rally around me when I texted them regarding my foot flare-up. And I GLADLY agreed to letting Julie host. Thank you, Julie, Cathy, Lisa, and Terry! Ya’ll are amazing friends.
Cathy made my Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria recipe, and it was so good! I think I’ve got them all hooked on it now, and I’m hoping to see texts from them over Christmas with pics of their Sangria. (hint hint) 🙂
We also had quite the spread of food – pinwheels, crackers and cream cheese dip, corn dip and chips, Greek skewers, barbecue-style meatballs, pigs in a blanket wreath, and a festive pesto Christmas tree. Oh, and cookie trays with ALLLL the cookies!
Julie disappeared in the middle of our laughs and appeared with the sweetest little Santa Hat Treats – aka jello shots! They were SO good, and we had
a tiny bit TONS of fun devouring them. #headachesinthemaking
What’s Christmas without a gift exchange? We all brought sweet little surprises for each other, and I loved it all.
I recently shared my White Chocolate Gingerbread Granola with you, and now you can see the recipients of my work. One for each of these special ladies, and they agreed to pose for me. CHEEEEESE! 🙂
I’m so very blessed to have found this group of girls. We NEVER run out of conversation, and have solved many of the world’s problems, just fyi.
A big shout out to Curt, Julie’s sweet hubby, who took our group photos, and was most likely amused beyond belief. Good thing I didn’t share them ALL! 🙂
Aaaaand…after I got their permission to post our party, we all started joking about what movie star we wanted to resemble. So here we go. From left to right, we have Jennifer Aniston, Christy Brinkley, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Brady (gotta match the pigtails), and Cindy Crawford.
Maybe we should have stopped with just one glass of Sangria. Or not.
Peace out, and Jingle All The Way! 🙂