Despite the clutter, everyone had a pretty good time at our party.
My favorite sister-in-law came, and since she can't visit without bringing me something, brought me a fancy cake from Wegmans. I teased her that she doesn't trust my baking, knowing darn well that I'd be sending her home with some of the cookies we'd baked that she loves.
Along with her was my brother-in-law, my niece and her husband and their three kids, ages 8, 4 and almost 2. The baby is my darling--she looks amazingly like SC at the age, which means they both look like my late, beloved mother-in-law. We are still trying to figure out where they both get the dimples on their hands though--no one else in the family seems to have them!
Bart the cat was in heaven when he saw company. For some reason he loves my brother-in-law (not really an animal person)and as usual curled up beside him on the sofa. What tickled me was seeing that my baby niece turns out to LOVE animals and gave Bart some surprisingly gentle pets. He's tolerant of small kids anyway, but I could see the two of them bonding.
We also had my dear friends the ballet teacher and her husband, a gaggle of JR's friends including her 2 best friends and their mothers, both of whom are friends of mine, and some of SC's gang, including her boyfriend. He was the only guy in the group, but seemed perfectly as ease. The teens were noisy--I know one thing they were doing was playing the dreidel game--but the tweens were noisier, if tuneful--they spent a lot of their time singing!
I serve everything but the latkes buffet style. Our low bookcases were covered with a tablecloth and held plates with various cookies (recipes coming on The Library Lady Cooks) and a large cheesecake. The half round table that was part of our old dining/kitchen table (and we're keeping it, we've decided) held tzatziki
sauce from Wegman's (I still can't make one as good as theirs), homemade hummus (my niece's favorite), Kalamata olives and pita chips. And I cooked latkes in the kitchen all afternoon.
Late in the day the relatives and a few of JR's friends were gone, but the rest of the tweens and all the teens walked up the street to where our neighborhood Christmas tree lighting was taking place. The other tweens parents met us there. It was bitterly cold and as soon as the tree was lit, I managed to persuade the teens and JR to come home to the house for hot chocolate.
JR sulked because HER friends had gone, but the teens had a hilarious time for another hour. Finally, several of them were picked up by parents and I drove the rest home.
None of us wanted dinner. JR went to bed around 9:15. And I went into my room, saw Mama Bella the cat finally emerged from hiding (she hates company) and Bart, both snuggled on my bed and purring.
And I went to sleep. At 9:30.
Wonderful, wonderful, party. But there was more for me to do on Monday!