Last year we didn't have our holiday party because we were on a beach in Thailand (I know, I know - some aspects of foreign service life are harder than others). The year before, if I recall correctly, we didn't have our party because I was pregnant and still newly-deaf and just plain not-in-the-mood.
This year, we restarted the tradition. About 50 people showed up at the house last night, and though you might not be interested in the details, I need to record them for posterity's sake.
We made: peppermint fudge, marshmallow fudge, white and dark chocolate peppermint bark, 7-layer bars, almond sea salt bark, walnut dreams, marshmallow-peanut butter brownies, butterfinger-somethings, coconut macaroons, chocolate chip peppermint bark cookies. We made: black bean chipotle hummus, plain hummus, veggies and dip, apples with rasperry-yogurt dip and basil-brie dip, baked garlic-honey brie. (Then we got tired so we ordered chicken skewers for delivery.) We made: champagne punch and hot apple cider, which we served alongside wine, pelligrino and rum-and-cokes for the Marines.
Friends came early to help light luminaria and put desserts on platters. Shay designed a little box to solicit donations for "Holiday Hounds," to help cats and dogs in a nearby shelter. I ate entirely too many scraps as I baked: after all, you can't put those crooked end pieces on a nice platter, but you hate to just throw them out.
It was exhausting and fun and I'm glad we did it.