Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and (hopefully) long weekend. We jumped right into the holidays this year on Black Friday. My birthday is tomorrow and always falls in between Thanksgiving and the beginning of holiday parties, this coming weekend we have two parties. Lots of friends are either traveling for Thanksgiving weekend or committed to other get together as December gets rolling. This year I decided to embrace the fact that my birthday kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas-themed birthday party.

We had an Ugly Sweater Birthday Party and had completely decorated the house but the time guests arrived. Friday we headed to the Castro Valley Christmas Tree Farm to find the perfect tree. The last two winters in our house we have gone out and cut down our own tree. It is so fun to walk around surveying all the tress looking for “the one.” I am terrible at deciding because I generally like a bunch of them. Check out instagram for a video of Neil cutting down our tree and photos of last year. This year we also got fresh mistletoe from the farm.

IMG_6957We strapped the tree on top of the Prius, ran some errands and headed home to get to work. We were running out of day light so we started with the outdoor christmas lights. On the roof we hung our string LED  lights on new plastic hooks. Last year I had the “great” idea to hot glue the christmas lights up. It worked great until we had to remove them and the house paint came off with the glue. Neil had to take them down and do touch ups. This year we bought outdoor plastic light hooks. We hope to carefully take down the lights and leave the hooks for future years.

With Bing Crosby on the radio and eggnog in my Christmas mug we started decorating the house and tree.  We have gotten many hand-me-down decorations from family and slowly acquired a few things each year. Our first year living together we didn’t have any ornaments so we made a bunch out of paper and craft supplies. We also pick out a new ornament each year so our collection is slowly growing. I have gotten rid of some of the paper ones but kept a few of my favorites.

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Neil prepped most of the food for the party. He made amazing homemade dishes including: butternut squash-carrot soup, pomegranate glazed meatballs, and roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranate reduction sauce. People brought appetizers and drinks to share and we served Neil’s Hoppy Pale home-brew, wine, egg nog, warm spiced cider, hot toddy, and hot buttered rum all available with rum and bourbon to spike.

We played charades and a guess who like game in the house while others enjoyed the fire pit in the backyard. I loved everyone’s ugly sweaters! Some highlights were Reilly’s ugly sweater, a giant bow with lights that could plug in and my family dressed as six reindeer.

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It was great to catch some friends who were in town for the holidays and it is fun to have the house already decorated! It was a great birthday party, a great thanksgiving and I can’t wait for the holiday fun to continue.

Happy Holidays from the Bulgers!

‘Tis the Season
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