Another reason that I LOVE the kitchen in this house is that there's plenty of room. We had 14 people stand around and maneuver comfortably in the kitchen during the beginning/appetizer course while still being able to cook/finish up preparing the meal.
One of the desserts we had was a mince pie that Kate brought. I had never had mince pie so I just HAD to try it. I don't really like it. At all. But I ate it! Every last bite--because she was sitting at the table with me.
Then came the White Elephant Gift Swap. I had originally sent out an email stating that we would be playing "Dirty Santa" and it got misinterpreted by the majority of the group. They thought that by "dirty" I meant raunchy, distasteful, off color gifts. Thankfully someone mentioned that in passing at Thanksgiving. I was absolutely appaulled that they would even think I would mention something like that! So I sent out an email clarifying what we would be doing and changed it to a white elephant gift swap.
Mark and I didn't have any white elephants laying around the house---one of the perks from moving nine times in ten years is that you get to purge your junk often. So we had to go and buy two. I went to Ross because you can find some bizarre and funny stuff there. So, I bought this terrible awful gift that is really completely useless: a back scratcher that dispenses lotion. Ha! The second gift was what Mark picked out himself and wanted to win it: a garden gnome that looks just like the little Travelocity guy. And you all will NEVER believe this, but it was the most stolen and most wanted gift in the swap!! Can you believe it? And Mark did end up winning it! If you click on the picture below it should enlarge so that you can see the gnome better.