Friday, December 9, 2016

Sharing the Joy - Have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!


It's that time of year again. Time to pull out the festive apparel. Tops, socks, sweaters. Sweaters. When did people start calling festive sweaters ugly? I just always referred to them as Christmas sweaters, although I've never actually owned a full blown sweater, though I did have a nice vest my ex mother-in-law gave me years ago.

However the trend started (perhaps it was popularized by Bridget Jones' Diary and Mark Darcy's Christmas jumpers?), it has become a very popular way to bring people together at Christmastime. So, when you're planning your Ugly Christmas Sweater party, the first thing you need to do is find the perfect sweater, and what better place than UglyChristmasSweater.com! Justin from their company was kind enough to send me one of their sweaters. I chose this one because it came in the largest size they have available on their site. However, I was sent a size smaller and unfortunately it does not fit properly, being too small, or I would show you a picture of me wearing it. That being said, it is an awesome sweater. It's well made and the light up feature is so over the top, and it's unisex. It's perfect for the ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon.


Here are a couple of other options they have on their site. Some favorite characters like The Grinch and Elf. They also have other clothing items such as Christmas leggings and jackets.



Now that you've chosen your sweater(s) from UglyChristmasSweater.com, you are ready to move forward with the rest of your party. 


I find that the easiest way to host a fun holiday party is to keep the food simple and festive with finger foods and drinks. 

Have you ever made homemade eggnog? I did several years back and it was a hit. Here's the recipe I used:


Eggnog

6 beaten eggs
2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp. light rum
2 to 4 Tbsp. bourbon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
Ground nutmeg

Instructions
In a large heavy saucepan, mix eggs, milk, and 1/3 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a sink or bowl of ice water and stirring 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in rum, bourbon and vanilla. Chill 4 to 24 hours.

At serving time, in a bowl, whip cream and 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Transfer chilled egg mixture to a punch bowl. Fold in whipped cream mixture. Serve at once. Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. Makes about 10 (4 ounce) servings.

Non-alcoholic Eggnog: Prepare as above except omit rum and bourbon. Increase milk to 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups.

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This is my favorite dip. My sons love it and I find myself making it for more than special occasions. Try to ignore the name. However, it does have some semblance of truth. You can't stop eating it!


Crack Dip 

16 oz sour cream
1 (2 oz) packet ranch dressing mix
3 oz bacon bits (in the packet not the plastic jar)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
1. Mix together. It’s best if you refrigerate it for a day before eating!

My notes: 1. I have refrigerated for less than a day and it's still delicious. 2. You'll want to double the recipe for larger crowds.

Recipe and image from Julie's Eats and Treats.

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Meatballs. Nothing says festive than meatballs. We even had them at our wedding reception. These are what I make every year on New Year's Eve. Of course, you can make your own meatballs, but I opt for the easy way...frozen meatballs.


Grape Jelly Meatballs

2 pounds frozen meatballs
12 ounces chili sauce
1 1/2 cups grape jelly

Instructions
Add the chili sauce and grape jelly to a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Add the meatballs and stir to coat.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Serve as an appetizer or over rice as a main dish.
This recipe, and variations on it, are pretty well known, but this particular recipe (and image) is from Buns in my Oven
Image credit: POPSUGAR

Don't forget dessert! How about some Ugly Christmas Sweater cookies? Check out the options for cookie cutters on Amazon, and then whip up your favorite sugar cookie dough, bake, ice and decorate those ugly sweaters! 

Have fun!



P.S. I missed it! On November 30th, Christmas Spirit celebrated seven years of blogging! Thank you for being a part of my Christmas loving community!

*I received free product in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine.

Always in spirit...

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