Each year we like to throw a little Christmas cocktail party at our house as early in December as possible, partly to catch everyone before their schedules fill up, and partly to get on the calendar before they're sick of Christmas parties:) I knew we'd invited more people than in the past, so cramming them into the house could be a bit of a challenge, which is why we decided to buy this tent for the back deck to add another room to accommodate all of those extra bodies. I was so excited when it arrived, even though it comes in three huge, super heavy boxes full of about a million parts that looked pretty intimidating at first when we opened everything up. Actually, assembling this monster turned out to be satisfying and even quick, with the two of us working together. But who am I kidding? I love this kind of thing:)
Once the tent itself was in place, we got to work making the space a bit less carport-like and a little more party ready. Jady's enthusiasm for Christmas decorating is boundless and contagious in the happiest way, and I'm always grateful for his tireless efforts when it comes to hanging lights and schlepping trees around. I picked up some extra long strands of white lights, which we hung all around the sides and top of the tent. Then, to soften the look of the lovely vinyl and metal construction, I brought home 20 yards of inexpensive white muslin fabric and hung that over the lights on the ceiling. The fabric turned out to be such simple addition, and I was really pleased with the difference in the feel of the space.
For this year's party I decided to go super simple with the tree and barely hung any ornaments at all-- and while I'd like to claim it as a minimalist design decision, it actually just knew I wouldn't have time to fuss over it and bumped decorating the tree way down on the priority list. Better to have a bare tree than hungry guests, right? I think I made the right choice.
The night of our party the weather turned out to be terrible-- as in heavy snow and icy roads that stranded a bunch of our friends on back roads and up steep driveways. But tons of people risked life and limb to come party with us anyway! The day before, to help cozy up the deck area and to try to keep the freezing air out a bit, we laid out some carpet remnant and an extra couple of rugs I had stashed away. The electric heaters were a critical addition, given the weather, and I have a feeling we're going to use them a ton between now and summertime.
Sadly, with all of this effort and party prepping, I am the WORST at remembering to take pictures of the actual event! Ugh. This one is literally one of two photos I snapped at the very beginning of the night. I seriously need a personal assistant:)