A Very Fortner Christmas

This past Saturday, Tadd and I threw our second annual Christmas party, which I lovingly refer to as "A Very Fortner Christmas." Here's a recap:

Decor wasn't a hassle, since I had already put up Christmas decorations weeks ago. I am respectful of Halloween and Thanksgiving, so I don't decorate until the day after Thanksgiving. On the day of the party, I added some additional decor in the form of wine-bottles-turned-candle-holders, an idea I unabashedly stole from my friend Lacy, but everything was otherwise already good to go.

As for food, a lot of friends voluntarily brought dishes (thanks, friends), which left me time to try out a few new recipes (thanks, Pinterest). I made a peanut butter cheese ball and a pomegranate-topped cheesecake. A few words to the wise: the cheese ball melts really fast, so you ultimately end up with a peanut-buttery puddle if it's not eaten quickly enough. Also, the cheesecake took way (and I mean way) longer to cook than the recipe directs, so give yourself some additional time if making it. The cheesecake was the more popular of the two dishes, so I suppose the extra baking time was worth it. I also made a sparkling holiday punch, which was amazing, but guzzling its deliciousness hindered me from photographing it.
Peanut Butter Cheese Ball
Pomegranate-topped cheesecake
Everyone ate to their heart's content, and then we all participated in a White Elephant gift exchange. For those of you who don't know how White Elephant works: everyone brings a gift within a decided-upon spending limit. Everyone draws a number to determine the order in which they will select a gift. Participants can either choose an unopened gift or steal a gift from someone who went before them, although an item can only be stolen so many times during the game. Sometimes it can get pretty competitive, although everyone seemed hesitant to steal much at this year's party. The most hotly contested items were a french press and a ceramic yoda mug (beverages matter to my friends). Tadd ended up with a video game and a tin of cookies, and I scored a potato chip maker (food matters to me and my husband).
Tadd during White Elephant. Photo by Laura Rose Adkins
My friend Laura gifted a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, straight from Harry Potter World, and after White Elephant, we all sat around trying the different flavors. I fortunately got cotton candy and mint, but some were not so lucky. Some poor souls ended up with swamp water and grass beans, so I fared pretty well in comparison.

"A Very Fortner Christmas" was such a fun event. It was a pleasure to have so many of our friends under one roof and celebrate the holiday with them, especially since no one tried to steal my potato chip maker.

What are you doing for the holidays, Hipsters? Comment below!

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