I decided to host an adult-only Christmas dinner at my house this past Thursday. I invited many of my homeschool friends to join us. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.
I worked on it sporadically for several days and nothing but the dinner on Thursday. In order to accomodate 14 guests, I had to do some rearranging of the furniture. I made a dining room in our front living room and set up three tables. The kitchen dining area was for visiting, appetizers, and the buffet table. I was calm all day, setting things up and really enjoying the process of creating beauty. It is just nice to create beautiful things. I was also fortunate enough to have some help in the afternoon, when my visiting teacher Corrie stopped by to help me. She was such a lifesaver.
The only harrowing time was about 6:15pm when the entire house was billowing with smoke, a mere 15 minutes before the guests were supposed to arrive. I freaked out just a wee bit. I was cooking my bacon-wrapped dates in the oven and used one lipless tray, which was a huge mistake. The grease from the bacon spilled onto the bottom of the oven, causing a horrible smoke invasion. After every door in the house was opened, the smoke cleared out just in time.
|L to R: Alisa D., Alison C., Kelley R., Maureen F., Pamela L., Gillian D., and Stephanie C.|
I served beef round tip, salmon, tomato soup, mixed green salad with a balsamic vinagrette, fingerling potatoes, carrot cake cup cakes (made by my totally awesome church friend Rose) and a black tie mousse cake from Costco. Besides the desserts, I made everything myself. The food turned out really well.
None of my guests are members of our church and it was so good to have them in my home, to break down barriers. For example, Josh (a lay minister in his church) was surprised to learn that we worship Jesus Christ and not Joseph Smith. He figured that out from a quote by Ezra Taft Benson I have in my house that says, "When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed." We were able to have a productive discussion about what we do believe as Mormons. I was grateful to be able to share that with him.
|Mark R., Rinar, and T.J.|
|Jason, Josh, and Alison's husband.|
After dinner, I showed them a clip from the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas concert from a few years ago; a story about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Then we sang a few songs and wrapped up the evening.
I am so grateful to have homeschool friends, women who are so grounded and loving and supportive. I hope I can continue to do this every year.