Last year, I posted about our Christmas Traditions and Parties separately, but in an effort to catch up a little quicker this will be a two-for-one post :) December was an absolute whirlwind - an extremely fun month leading up to Christmas.
To kick off the month of craziness, we finally went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights. We were really looking forward to it and had pretty high expectations. Near where we both grew up, Hoffman's Chocolate does an amazing light decoration in their gardens which you can walk through for free. (Well, free until you get into the chocolate store at the end, that is.) Since we loved it so much as kids, the Holiday Lights event at the Botanical Gardens has been on our Atlanta bucket list ever since we moved here. I'm glad we've checked it off but we probably won't return. Granted, we are probably in the minority on that one because everyone LOVES it. At $23 per ticket, we just thought it was kind of a rip off (we missed the SweetJack deal, and with Bo's work schedule we couldn't use Groupon...boo). Don't get me wrong though, it was still very well done and it was a very fun date night.
Our favorite part was actually these musical orbs! They played christmas music in the background and we found a nice bench to hang out there for a while. The orbs changed colors along with the music and they played some of our favorite songs. It wasn't too cold outside just yet, and we had a good view of midtown (which you can just barely see in the background below).
Grandma sent us a new puzzle last year which we enjoyed putting together. It was pretty difficult- took us about a week to finish it, even when our little helper wasn't in the way. At the time, we were dog sitting for Dudley's dog, Madison, and she likes to hang out on our table to escape from Molly...
|all completed! I wonder who the culprit could be for the missing pieces...|
My work party was at the Atlanta History Center again, and Bo's work party was at 103 West (amazing restaurant - lobster and filet, please and thank you!). No pictures from either of those events, but we went to the St. Regis bar before dinner, and we were happily surprised to find out they do a free champagne toast every day at 6pm. This guy tells a whole story and then decapitates a bottle of champagne with a mini-sword. Cheers!
Carolyn and Heather hosted their annual Christmas party, complete with Christmas cookie shots! Absolutely delicious - not something I often say after taking a shot, and they sure beat the pickleback shots from last year ;)
Josh hosted his annual tacky Christmas party and eggnog competition. Bo won the blind taste test! Eggnog has been an acquired taste for me over the years, but this recipe was by far the best he's ever made. Love having my own personal bartender.
|wearing slippers to a party is the best. especially when they jingle!|
I attended several girls night parties throughout the month...Ana and Katie hosted a Christmas party at their new apartment (ahem, Shara..still waiting on your pics!), met up with some of that same crew for a Christmas dinner at Einstein's, Kelly hosted her annual ornament exchange (see: previous post) and Katherine hosted her annual cookie exchange. I always love the cookie exchange but as you can tell I had zero time to prepare this year. At the last minute (9pm the night before...), I found this quick recipe on pinterest for Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ohmygoodness these were sooo addicting. I made a few batches of them and brought them to the cookie exchange, my office, our new neighbors, and of course plenty to eat at home. I ate way too many!
In between all the choas of party fun, we managed to squeeze in one more date night. For the fourth year in a row, we went to the Shakespeare Tavern to see A Christmas Carol. As usual, they had a few fun additions to the show and we loved it as always. I also read the actual story beforehand - I've seen so many movies and shows do different variations of it, so I knew the story inside and out, but it was nice to read it myself. Plus it's a really short story - it only took a few hours to read.
And finally, Bo and I built our second gingerbread house. What an absolute failure. I used a different recipe than last time, and the dough was wayyy too soft. Just a few minutes after putting it together, the roof started caving in and then slid off. We didn't even bother decorating it, and I returned all the candy to Publix (that was a first!). We called it our "hurricane house" and ate some of the frosted gingerbread but it was just okay. Better luck next year, and back to the original recipe!