The joy and festivities of December seem to pile up, fill up our calendars, and often hard to plan a festivity around all of the other activities. Thankfully, January 6th, the Twelfth Night of Christmas, or Epiphany, gives us another opportunity to gather. As we mark the beginning of Carnival Season, let’s celebrate!
Last year a group of friends began celebrating this often looked-over holiday. This year we celebrated on a Saturday night with some upgrades from last year’s celebration. It’s amazing what a little planning and forethought can do! (Last year, I decided to make an king cake and homemade crackers an hour prior to dinner – tardiness is never fun). While each Epiphany party may look different, here are some ingredients for what’s sure to be a fun night
· The Venue: Let a restaurant do the work! Even if many of us leave our trees and décor up through Epiphany, we may not feel like putting forth the work to get our house entertaining-ready or let cooking detract you from your new year aspirations. OR if you do want to entertain once last time while your home is still decorated, you can always keep it simple with a local restaurant’s to-go catering or everyone bring a bottle of wine and a hearty appetizer. Here is last year's invitation:
· Gift Exchange – a delightful reason to shop post-Christmas sales. We realize that January is also a month for starting the year with fiscal responsibility after a busy December, so setting a limit and being creative is always a fun way to end the night.
· The King Cake – always appropriate for kicking off carnival season! If you don’t live in an area where king cakes are readily made and available, there is always the ability to order online from a reputable King Cake bakery.
· Or you can go the ten-minute route that I’ve chosen the last two years – cinnamon rolls, cream cheese, and colored sugar.
· The English Cracker – another chance to get some bad riddles, paper crowns, and mysterious plastic toys, why not?? These have always been a favorite in my family as a tradition started in jesting, but now they are a regular staple to any Christmas, holiday table. By using these after Christmas, you can usually find a good sale. Just be ready to pounce the day after Christmas, who would know that they go pretty quickly?! OR the route I went last year was reviving the use of the “spirit stick” – if you’ve ever made them for a pep rally, toilet paper/paper towels/or wrapping paper rolls converted into something lovelier…
· Party Favors: While never needed, they will always be a favorite addition to any party! Here, I’ve found (thank you to some post-Christmas sales) some glitzy and festive items to place beside each plate. Even when entertaining at a restaurant, it’s nice to pair the ease of not cooking with a personal and festive touch at each place. While it’s no frankincense or myrrh, adding a touch of what “royal fun” is always a nice touch. These favors include:
· Cute Packaging: simply gold baking cups and sparkly streamers.
· Nail Polish/Lip Gloss: A sales find at the J. Crew and Lord and Taylor
· Christmas Chocolate: again, a great variety from post-Christmas sales.
We hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas season on this Twelfth Night! Now, it’s time to look forward to Carnival season!