Just in case I haven’t made it clear, I love the holidays. Christmas carols, Christmas cookies, Christmas lights and definitely, definitely, Christmas parties. The past few years, Jeanette and I have thrown a joint holiday party and once again enjoyed celebrating the holiday season this past weekend. We reserved private space upstairs at Ropewalk – which was free with a guarantee of 25 guests – brought in our own holiday decorations, photo booth props, mistletoe, candy canes and Hershey kisses. We encouraged everyone to dress up in silly holiday attire and gave prizes for the best outfits (and coal to the guy who didn’t bother dressing up). Since we’re young(ish) and poor we did a cash bar, but bought a couple rounds of shots for friends.
We also wanted to give back a little this holiday season and encouraged our guests to bring toiletry items to donate to Baltimore Station (a program supporting veterans and other who are transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency). Our friends are amazing and brought a ton of stuff so we can make a nice donation.
If you’re looking for space to hold a party but can’t afford to bankroll a big room rental fee then Ropewalk is a great option along with several other Federal Hill bars including Brewer’s Cask (site of last year’s party) and Social.
Not every holiday party involves sloppy drinks and silly sweaters, I’m also attending a couple of secret santa potlucks and meeting my high school girlfriends for a holiday lunch at Ted’s Bulletin before we go back to the house for coffee, dessert and gift exchanging. I also love the idea of a cookie or ornament swap though I’ve never been invited to one (side note: I’m still accepting invitations for this holiday season). Of course, I’m also going to a couple of family Hanukkah gatherings complete with fried latkes, menorah lighting and dreidel spinning. Of course, it’s not all about the parties, it’s about spending quality time with my favorite people.
If you’re still in the planning process for a holiday dinner or get together, Baltimore has a ton of great options: my team at work is going out to Cinghiale and Adam is having a work dinner at Roy’s. Woodberry Kitchen always seems delightfully festive (and delicious) or go to B&O Brasserie and enjoy the gorgeous holiday decorations at the Hotel Monaco. Last Christmas Eve, Adam and I had dinner at Birroteca and then soaked in the holiday goodness of 34th Street which made for a wonderful night. If you’re looking for something more casual, I think Atwater’s would make a great holiday brunch location and the Canton location has some lovely holiday cocktails on their menu. In past years, we’ve done holiday brew tours at Heavy Seas and Flying Dog – the tours are inexpensive and include samples of their seasonal varieties.
Are you going to any holiday parties? Does your office do anything special?