Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Champagne and a White Elephant Party

So, I had a White Elephant Party last night. In short, it was awesome. I included a couple pictures from the night so you could get a feel for the party. That's my friend Melissa kissing her "Santa" husband, Shawn. And that's me in the bottom picture to the left with my friends Angie and Danielle. This party did not seem like it was going to happen in the days leading up to it. Well, I knew it HAD to happen, but people were canceling and rsvp-ing "no" left and right. (Oh, you're passing a kidney stone? Bummer. You're teaching dance lessons tonight? Dang! You forgot you were hosting bible study at your house? We will miss you! Your husband has to work till 8pm? Oh my, I really wish you could come, but, I understand. No babysitters available? really? You just started a major detox and have stuff coming out both ways? Oh, man! That's sick, but at least you have a fantastic excuse. You just want to stay home with the family? Oh. You are going to do family movie night instead? Oh. You have been too busy lately and need to be home for the weekend? OK, WTF is going on here anyway? Did I possibly pick THE ABSOLUTE WORST DAY OF THE YEAR to have this party? Wheres the holiday spirit?) And, when I thought about who, exactly was for sure going to come it made me nervous. Not because I don't love everyone, but because they all didn't know each other. There were some essential "glue" people that we not going to come to help and tie it all together. I thought it might be an awkward party. I am not a huge fan of awkward parties, let alone of throwing them, so I was sort of concerned.

With help from my sister, I decided to let it all go and just enjoy the day. I mean, I really liked everyone coming and was confident they would in turn, all like each other. Plus my best friends would be there to serve as a buffer. My sister reminded me that one of the points of having a party was so you could mingle and meet people. Uh-duh, yes. Why didn't I think of that? In the end, I preferred it just as it was. I talked longer to people I might not have if I had more people over. Even then, there are people I wished I would have talked to more because I enjoyed their company so. Originally, I had in mind a huge party with lots of people and commotion and laughter and memories. In the end, I had a party with 20 people and commotion and laughter, memories and cranberry champagne. It was perfect and merry and this Champagne was the definite drink of choice for the night. We actually ran out. Ouch, party foul numero uno! Luckily it was at the end of the night (11:30pm-ish) so it was pardoned.

This is really simple to make but I recommend it for this time of the year because it's festive and red and apparently, it makes people with little kids stay out till midnight, laughing and giddy saying to hell with the babysitter costs, let's have another!

Cranberry Champagne

makes enough for 8 glasses of champagne

1 cup fresh cranberries
4 tablespoons water or cranberry juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the cranberries, water or juice and sugar together in a small sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until cranberries have mostly all popped (about 5 minutes or so). You should have a cranberry sauce of sorts. Cool and set aside until ready to use. The mixture will thicken upon standing. Pour glasses of champagne, adding about a tablespoon of the cranberry mixture to each glass. Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who came last night! I had a ball and can't wait to do it again!


  1. Hi Krysta,
    This sounds like a very nice way to enjoy a glass of champagne. Have you tried an Australian wine with it yet? If you can get hold of a Jacobs creek dessert wine to try with it I think you will find it a very interesting taste extravaganza :-)

  2. Hi Jan,
    No I haven't tried it with anything besides champagne yet, but a dessert wine sounds fabulous! I'll keep my eye out for it.