The Holiday Party Circuit

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.

Toiletry Donations for Baltimore Station

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.

Holiday Decoration Baltimore Party Holiday Party Ropewalk Baltimore

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’sWoodberry 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.

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Are you going to any holiday parties? Does your office do anything special? 

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Currently December

Linking up with Jenna and Anne today for  a little snapshot into life currently. Be sure to visit their pages and see what other bloggers are currently doing and read on to find out what I’m currently wishing, remembering, wrapping, baking and decorating!

Wishing | I was back in college, but not for the reasons you might think! I actually quite like being out of college, but still young(ish) however, the Maryland basketball team is just so, so good this year that I am wishing I still had my free student tickets, could walk from my dorm to the games and could go out and celebrate at the bars afterward. They lost to UNC last night, but it was still a great game and I know there is just more excitement ahead. Luckily, we’ll see them in a couple of weeks when they come to Baltimore to play Princeton at Royal Farms Arena.

Remembering | past holiday parties and preparing for this weekend. Jeanette and I have thrown an annual holiday party since our sophomore year of college. It started out as a Pilgrim and Indian theme party where everyone wore costumes and has morphed into a holiday party where we still encourage guests to wear wacky outfits. Last year, we reserved the upstairs bar at Brewer’s Cask, had mistletoe and photo booth props and  it was a ton of fun. We’ve switched the location this year and have a ton of decorations and fun prizes for the best outfits. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

holiday party baltimore brewers cask

Wrapping | Hanukkah gifts! The eight crazy nights begin on Sunday and I’m looking forward to a holiday get together with my mom and cousins. Gimme those latkes! If you are still doing your holiday shopping, be sure to check out Jeanette’s Favorite gift shops in Baltimore and my favorite gift ideas.

Baking | Christmas cookies!  My Grandma always had tins of fresh cookies ready for us every time we visited her house on Long Island for the holidays. She is Italian and seemed to have the BEST cookie recipes like these Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies that I’m going to try to attempt this year.

Decorating | the house for the holidays. Is there a different answer for this one? I grew up celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas and while we never had a tree or Christmas lights, I’ve always loved putting out a few festive decorations and burning holiday scented candles.

What are you currently wishing, remembering, wrapping, baking or decorating?

 

Friday Five (Favorite Holiday Gift Ideas)

hanukkah

Sure, Thanksgiving is next week, but with Hanukkah hot on its heels (yes, that’s my Winnie the Pooh menorah) I am already knee deep in my holiday shopping! If you’re like me and chomping at the bit to do some holiday shopping, check out the ideas below and Jeanette’s favorite gift shops in Baltimore (be sure to hit them up for small business Saturday)!

  1. Adele’s new album! 25 drops today and maybe people don’t buy CDs anymore, but it’s probably worth it for this long awaited  gem.
  2. Maryland Flag accessories. Everyone loves to represent their favorite state and I know this scarf from Route 1 Apparel has been on Jeanette’s wish list for a while now.
  3. Tickets to  Phantom of the Opera at the Hippodrome in January, the Beach Boys who are coming to Baltimore February 17 or for Monster Jam at Royal Farms Arena if that’s, you know, your jam.
  4. Work out gear. New running shoes are on my Christmas list, but I also love giving (and receiving) cute leggings and pullovers that are always in demand during the winter. Old Navy has surprisingly cute active wear that is often on sale.
  5. Holiday scented candles make a great hostess gift as you make your rounds through the Christmas party circuit: Christmas Cookie, Holiday Votive, Birchwood Pine or Frosted Cranberry.

I also love giving personalized photo gifts from Shutterfly, home baked treats and taking someone out to dinner rather than giving them something material.

Linking up with Heather for Friday Faves.

What’s on your Christmas shopping list this year?