by Kristin Daniels
Christmas is just around the corner, and I've been trying my hardest all month to get into the spirit of the holidays. I'm getting there, really I am. And coming up is the one thing that I look forward to every year : our neighborhood's annual Progressive Dinner.
You see, I live in a small-ish suburbs of Chicago, on a cul-de-sac, and have the best neighbors in the world. Truly. Our houses are at the 'bottom of the circle', as we like to say, so going house to house for the Progressive is so simple. Unless, of course, we get a foot of snow. Then it can be a little tricky. :)
For those of you who don't know what a Progressive Dinner is, it's where you go from house to house for different courses of a meal. It's perfect with our neighbors, since we have four families who participate, so the courses are spread out evenly.
At the first house, we generally greet each other with holiday hugs, then sip on a Christmas cocktail or two. After a half hour or so of kibitzing and admiring that house's Christmas decorations, everyone dons their coats and boots and heads off next door. Appetizers await, and they are always of the yummy variety. The "drink house" family brings the beverages along with them, so we can enjoy their festive concoctions throughout the evening.
After sampling some delicious appetizer tidbits, off we go to the next house for dinner. Now we've done the sit-down dinners, and we've done the buffet style dinners. No matter which, the food is always fantastic, and the company is even better. Afterward, we all lean back in our chairs and groan about how much we've eaten, and nooooo, we simply couldn't take another bite! But wait -- the next house is dessert!
Cookies, pies, cakes and candies. We've had it all. From store bought to homemade. The cocktails are replaced (well, at least for a little while :)) with tea or coffee laced with decadent flavored creams. But the night doesn't stop there. More often than not, we'll pull out some games (yes, we're game players!) and keep the fun going. Last year, the game was Dirty Minds (because, let's face it, who doesn't have one?). Honestly, we had a riot!
This year, I'm the "drink house". I'm tossing around a few ideas of what I'd like to make, but I though I'd throw it out to you guys, too. What's your favorite Christmas cocktail? Any good suggestions out there?