My Top 5 Christmas Party Hostess Gifts

Hi, everyone! Happy December 13th. Quick note: The Twelve Days of Christmas start on December 25th, not today! 😉

Today I wanted to give you a few hints for Christmas party hostess gifts. Here are my top 5 gifts!

Josh Cabernet Sauvignon. I love the flavor, and it’s moderately priced at around $13 a bottle. The label, however, is very clean looking, and I feel like it tastes comparable to higher priced bottles. Don’t forget, though, that when you give a bottle of wine, you’re giving it for your hosts to consume at a later date.Kind of along those lines are these adorable and very functional glass markers.

These Wine Glass Markers with Colorful and Stylish Design – Set of 6 (Pineapple) are perfect because they can be used on stemless glasses, too.

I also LOVE these cute cocktail napkins. I always have several sets, usually Southern themed, in my hostess basket at home. If the person(s) you’re visiting enjoy cooking, I always recommend theseGrand’aroma Bruschetta,garlic, Basil, Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 4). Garlic is my favorite one for everyday cooking, but they’re all delicious and add a new level of flavor to your meals.

Honestly, my last favorite pick is a giftcard to a local coffee shop. I know giftcards are very debateable, but I have noticed that the majority of people enjoy coffee. If they don’t, they enjoy tea or soda or the sweets coffee shops have.

I hope you have enjoyed this list, and I’d love to hear what your top picks are, too! Thank you for reading!

{The links in this post contain affiliate links, and we will be compensated for purchases made through the links.}

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I’ve written briefly on the 12 Days of Christmas in the past here in regards to how long you may leave Christmas decorations up. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people insist they must be taken down before New Year’s Day, as the Christmas season extends from December 25th through January 5th, concluding  Janary 6th with Epiphany. Clearly New Year’s Day is in the middle of the 12 Days of Christmas.

I’ve also written that it is perfectly acceptable to send Christmas cards through the end of the 12 days.

However, today I want to briefly talk on the importance of the 12 days. As a Christian, Christmas has much more than a secular meaning to me. During the 12 Days of Christmas, we remember the birth of Jesus, the killing of innocent children by King Herod, the importance of John the Apostle, among many other vital parts of our Christian faith.

Advent, the time beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas, prepares our hearts and minds for Christmas. The anticipation adds a specialness you can’t find in a store. I also feel is helps keep my family grounded and our eyes on the cross.

Keep in mind, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – Geaorge Santayana

The Two Epiphanies

Today I had an epiphany. Not like the one that will take place on January 6th. The lower-case kind. Ironically, it had to do with the 12 days of Christmas. A little backstory on me. Growing up, my dad was Catholic, and my mom was United Methodist. We’ll just say “Methodist” for short. We’d attend Mass at 9am, head to eat breakfast, then go to Wesley for the 11am service. Suffice it to say, I got a double dose. Most Sundays, the readings were similar, if not the same, at both churches. Until I was about ten or so, I thought boys were Catholics and girls were Methodists. I don’t know. I just did.

When I was 14, I made the decision to join the United Methodist Church. Prior to this conviction, though, I spent a lot of time researching the different denominations, including others I wasn’t raised with. During this time, I really explored the different seasons of the church. If you haven’t been able to tell, I absolutely love traditions, and the seasons of the church are quite traditional.

While I had always known that the Christmas season starts on December 25th and lasts for the next 12 days, I had NO idea (truly, no idea until this morning), that this wasn’t common knowledge. So, I decided to dedicate today’s blog to being the 10th day of Christmas and to promote the idea of traditions and celebration of Christmas.

My husband and I haven’t taken down our Christmas decorations. Now you know we’re not lazy (at least not about this). We just are choosing to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas. If you choose to not, that’s completely ok. I just posted the meme as a humorous aside. 🙂

So, a little 12 days of Christmas etiquette and traditions.

  • Traditionally, the tree and nativity scene remain until Epiphany. We elect to keep all of our decorations up since we keep our decorations in the attic. One trip is much better for me. 🙂
  • On the Twelfth Night, there are oftentimes parties to celebrate Christmas.
  • Each day of Christmas represents a day honoring or remembering different people/events. Several of the days honor a saint.
  • Here is another reference for your convenience! http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml 

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

I truly did not know that people thought the 12 days of Christmas started BEFORE Christmas day instead of beginning on Christmas day, as is correct. I wouldn’t have known people did not know when the 12 days began if I hadn’t wished someone a Merry Christmas today. Please email me any etiquette question you’d like explained! 🙂 etiquettebyemily@gmail.com

Also, I know the dessert forks are facing the incorrect position. 🙂 My daughter helped set the table, and I didn’t catch the mistake until after the picture had been taken.

     

 

 

The Christmas Season

ornamentEach year I notice the Christmas decorations going up earlier and earlier and coming down sooner and sooner. Part of this may be the secularization of the Christmas holiday. However, I want to remind those celebrating of a Christian faith, the Christmas season is not over, yet! The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th, concluding on January 5th, bringing us to the Epiphany on January 6th (and the start of Carnival!).stockings

I’ve had four different messages asking about when to take down the decorations. Ok, not strictly etiquette, but etiquette is essentially guidelines for how we live, so, to me, this applies. 😉 It is fully appropriate to leave Christmas decorations up and lit until after the Christmas season. Appropriately, mid-January is plenty acceptable.  We get a live tree, which I generally forget to water (along with the rest of my plants), so my decorations come down on January 6th, come rain or come shine.

Likewise, Christmas parties and gatherings are perfectly acceptable to have or attend post-December 25th. In actuality, it is preferable than attending a Christmas party on, say, November 5th. So, celebrate away!

Also, if you live near Sulphur Springs and don’t have a King Cake for Carnival (Mardi Gras), don’t feel as though you need to wait until Fat Tuesday! Carnival season will begin January 6th and conclude on Fat Tuesday, which is February 9th for 2016. Here is a link you can order your cake from: https://squareup.com/market/sulphurspringsbakery/king-cake.

***I do NOT receive any affiliate fee from the above link. I just enjoy their bakery. 🙂