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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Party Supreme

This past Saturday my mom, my husband and I went to a Christmas party that our dear friends, Charlie and Debbie, have every year. Debbie and her family used to live next door to our family as we were all growing up in Phoenix. Debbie is also my Goddaughter (I Confirmed Debbie) and she is my daughter's Godmother (she Baptized Karen). Needless to say, our families have developed deep bonds over the years that continue to grow and deepen as time goes on. Both of our families are Italian so tradition, memories, food, wine, laughter, family and sharing are important to us. Here are some pictures of the party that I hurriedly took...I hope to get better pictures from Debbie who is a photographer.

Debbie's entry way is always so welcoming with the cutest decorations.

The tree reminds me of the tree that Debbie's parent's used to put up every year.
You can see that the gifts are over-flowing onto the floor.

Here is a picture of Debbie's children, Annie and Jimmy, two of the best-behaved children on the planet. Annie was the flower girl in my daughter's wedding thus weaving an even tighter bond between our families.
Debbie always sets up the garage as a mini-craft center for all the kids who attend the party. Needless to say, the children are entertained and the adults are happy and free to enjoy the festivities without constant interruptions. The children can watch videos, craft (color, paint, use glitter, work with foam forms,) and just have fun.

Here is a small sampling of food that Charlie and Debbie have for the party. Debbie and Charlie are marvelous cooks so they make their our pasta sauce (sugo) and meatballs. They also included Italian sausage, rolls, turkey, stuffing, tamales, assorted cheeses, pastas, vegetable platters and dip, cheese and broccoli soup, fruit, cranberries, and the list goes on! Debbie also set up a pretty table in the kitchen for the coffee, ice and eggnog. On the patio, Charlie set up a wine bar area, and there were numerous coolers with beer, soda pop, and water. I couldn't believe the dessert table that was also on the patio! There were cookies, cakes, candy, and sweet treats of every kind.

This is a photo of Debbie's kitchen with more Christmas decorations and a picture of the "Rat Pack".

Here is a photo of my 94 year old mother and my husband, John. John always teases my mom telling her, "You're my favorite mother-in-law".

Here we have Cathy, Sue, Alex and Kathy. Cathy has been a family friend for many years, Sue is Debbie's older sister, Alex is Margie's boyfriend (Margie is Debbie and Sue's niece), and Kathy is also a close family friend.

This is a photo of Debbie's kitchen gingerbread tree. Only Debbie could think of this! Everything on and under the tree is gingerbread-related.

Some gingerbread dolls on the rocker in Debbie's kitchen

Here is a photo of Bandit, the smaller black and white dog, and Baron Bearington Bradley Jack vonBrandenberg or "Bear" for short. Bandit was a stray that came to live with Debbie and Charlie. Bear is our huge lab that is very attached to my husband. Debbie and Charlie said that we could bring Bear to the party and everyone fell in love with this big, lovable oaf. You can see that Bear was in the pool because of the paw prints on the deck. Of course, Debbie and Charlie decorated the pool fence and the entire backyard with lights and garland.

Here is another photo of the gingerbread tree and the gingerbread-related things that are under it.

Debbie's father used to own and operate a restaurant so she had a menu framed to hold on to that memory. Notice the "Mangia" sign above the menu....we all have one in our kitchens.

Here is Santa "Gracie", Sue's dog. She greeted everyone and kept everyone in line especially Bear. Bear tried to be friends with Gracie but she wanted no part of it. Thank goodness that Bandit and Bear got along so well.
We all had a marvelous time at the party and we look forward to next year's celebration. I want to thank Debbie and Charlie for sharing their home and memories with us....we love you.


kayellen said...

Wonderful pictures!
So nice to see family enjoying each others company at the Christmas time!
Beautiful entry:)
Blessing to you!

Darna said...

Debbie's house definitely exudes holiday spirit! How are you? I have thought of you often lately, but never seem to have the opporutnity to check in. I hope you are all doing well!!