Sunday, December 8

Christmas Parties & Games

Dalin and I had an awesome and busy weekend. On Friday, we went to a Christmas party at the apartment of some good friends of ours, Hillary and Andrew. (Hillary is the one working with me on our new blog, The Mommy Tales). There were four other couples there, tons of delicious desserts, and several fun games, which I will share with you to use at your own Christmas gatherings!

Alphabet Race
Very simple, challenging game. List A-Z on a piece of paper and in an allotted time (we did like three to five minutes), list something Christmas-related for each letter. After the time is up, the game is kind of like Boggle, in that everyone reads the words on their list, and crosses them off if someone else has it. Whoever has the most unique words (which no one else has written) wins.

Bea Arthur (3 Parts Charades)
At least, that's what we call it. Basically, it's a charades game with three parts. Everyone starts by writing down three names (or, in the case of this party, Christmas-related things) on scraps of paper, which they fold once and stick in a bowl. Once all the names (or things) are in, the group is divided into two teams. One person from the first team goes first. Round one, each person has one minute to describe as many people/words in the bowl as possible before time runs out. In round one, players can say anything but any words contained on the paper. The round lasts until the names run out. Round two*, the same names are put back in the bowl, and players still have a minute to get as many names as possible, only this time, players can only use one single word to convey the name so they must choose wisely. They can repeat the word over and over, but they can only use one. Play until the names run out. Round three, the same rules apply. Names go back in the bowl, players have one minute each to get as many as possible. But this time, no words can be used, only acting. It's a very fun game that can be played anywhere as long as you have some paper, a bowl, and a group.

*Variation of the game: switch rounds two and three. That's how we played at this party!

Pictionary Telephone
This is a fun game which only requires some paper, pens, and a group (and your individual imagination, but that becomes clear). Every player is given a piece of paper and a pen with which they write a single sentence at the top of the page. The sentence can be random, silly, serious, whatever. In our case, it had to be holiday-themed in some way. Players should be instructed not to take up much space, as the rest of the page will be used. After the sentence is written, the page is passed on to the person sitting next to them. That person, reading the sentence, must draw a picture just below conveying its meaning. The picture, like the sentence, should be small and not take up much of the page. Once the drawing is completed, the person should fold the top of the paper so it completely covers the sentence at the top. With only the drawing visible, the page is passed to the next person, who, seeing the picture, must invent a sentence for it. Once their turn is over, they must fold the page over the drawing, so only their sentence can be seen. Essentially, the game will go: sentence, picture, sentence, picture, etc. (folding over the last piece each time) until the pages have been passed through the circle and reached the original writer. At that point, everyone can unfold the page completely and takes turns sharing the sentence transformations. The results are genuine, silly, and outrageous. No specific time is allotted for writing a sentence or drawing, but it could be for an added challenge. This game is a lot of fun in a group!

One-Handed Gift Wrapping
This challenge was just hilarious to watch. Each couple in the room, took a turn going against their spouse. Using one hand (and any other body part), couples had to wrap a box so no sides of it were exposed as fast as possible. Wrapping paper, a box, scissors, and tape were provided. It was so hilarious to see each couple with their own strategies. Some presents ended up wrapped fairly neatly, while others (most) were complete chaos. It was very fun as you can see below!
Watching another couple go
Stephanie holding Tenley for Dalin and me
First we had to unwrap them after the previous couple
It was a lot of pressure
Look at the determination in our faces...especially Dalin's
So hard to do nothing with your other hand!
Crappyyyy cutting job
Dalin won :P Barely. ;)
So the Dobbin's Christmas party on Friday night was a blast, and the treats were amazing. Then on Saturday morning, I went (late) to the baby shower of a friend in the ward. She's having a little girl and I know she's going to be the best mom! We ate delicious yogurt parfaits with granola and fresh fruit (my favorite!) and had fun telling her all about the fun in store for her (topics ranging from labor, to birth, to post-partum details, to breastfeeding, and so on). It is always fun to compare stories with other moms and I know I had a wonderful time with the lovely ladies who were there.

Then, Saturday evening was the ward Christmas party! The party was hosted in the Wilkenson Center Ballroom on BYU campus and was even better than last year. The decorations were so beautiful and the tables looked amazing (especially with the most delectable-looking desserts on them!). We were encouraged to dress up, so everyone looked really good and so Christmasy. And I can't even describe how delicious dinner was (though I'm about to try). After lemonade, rolls, and salad, we were served chicken cordon bleu (freaking good) with mashed potatoes (amazing), and buttery green beans (loved them). It seriously was so good that it was hard not to lick my plate clean. But I definitely ate everything on it. I had already eaten my dessert before the food showed up, but that was delicious too. It was some kind of raspberry cake with frosting, fresh raspberries, and a layer of white chocolate which was my favorite part.

After eating and enjoying the company of those at our table, each couple with children received a little present, which contained a board book version of one of my favorite children's books! ("You Are Special," which I had read for the first time when the mom of a high school friend sent it to us for Tenley!) After that, we did a White Elephant gift exchange. Dalin and I forgot our gifts, so we had hurried to the bookstore and grabbed some bright-colored socks and Christmas candy which we had wrapped for free upstairs. There were so many families at the party, that we had to do the gift exchange by table. We got a "Best of Bill Cosby Shows" DVD (which I was excited about) and a loaf of Organic Wheat Bread with a hilarious back-story shared on it. After the gift exchange, the holiday music was switched for dance music and everyone got up to dance! Dalin and I slow-danced, holding Tenley at the same time (you should have seen all the couples dancing with their babies), then we headed home in the snow. Check out pictures from the ward Christmas party below!

The tables looked gorgeous. The photo doesn't really capture it.
Check out those AMAZING desserts all around!
The little Gunnell family :)
My babies ;)
Holding the sweetheart
I love our darling girl!
Enjoying the party
Some silly guys from our ward, during the dance competition
It was such a fun weekend! If only Dalin didn't have to work tomorrow for his Sunday of the month, then it would be perfect. But overall, we had an awesome, party-filled weekend which I enjoyed every second of.

What is the best White Elephant gift you've ever given or received? (We gave an Obama Chia Pet one year amongst a conservative group, which was pretty funny)
Have you been to any Christmas parties yet this year (or hosted one yourself)? 
Are you planning on attending any parties? 
What is your favorite dessert? (Mine is anything with fruit, preferably fresh)

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