Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Traditions: Small Group Christmas Party!

David and I have been involved in a grad student / young professional small group through our church for the last several years. The leaders of our group, our dear friends Erik and Erin, moved out to New Mexico at the end of the summer, when Erik received his PhD -- and we miss them so much! They passed the baton on to us, so we're now leading two small groups. It's lots of fun -- we really love our groups! And it's such a blessing to us, being able to do ministry together.

Anyways, another one of our Christmas traditions is to bring the members of both groups together for an annual Christmas party. So last Saturday, we invited everyone over for a dessert extravaganza -- and wow, what an extravaganza it was! (We're still looking for ways to give away the leftover cookies...)

Desserts I made: sugar cookies with Christmas sprinkles, peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies, chocolate peppermint cookies (h/t Rachael Ray), and the cookie platter plus fudge, cheese tray and candy canes

And that was before our guests arrived, many bringing their own treats with them!

Some of our small group, plus Erik and Andrea's gingersnaps and date bars,
Emily's peppermint biscotti, and Carrie and Matt's Texas sheet cake.

Oh, and note the centerpiece on the table -- we finally figured out a way to get rid of all the extra cranberries and popcorn from our garlands. Here's a close-up of the centerpiece (and, incidentally, of the fudge):

One of the main "planned" activities for the party was a massive gingerbread house decorating undertaking. Michael's sells these gingerbread house kits, which have been a big hit at other parties we've gone to over the last few weeks, so we decided to jump on this bandwagon. :)

And a shot of the finished product:

The verdict: gingerbread house decorating is tons of fun, no matter how old you are!

We do really love our groups, and feel so blessed to be a part of this community!

(And we still have tons of cookies left over -- even after we brought them all to another Christmas party last night! So if any of you want any, please let us know!)