Let the Holiday Fun Begin

Posted: December 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

This weekend, I have something holiday related going on every night. It all kicked off last night with a holiday party and cookie exchange with the mom’s group I’m involved with. I came bearing my spinach roll-ups. And the plethora of balls.


We started the evening with some chit chat in the kitchen and a palate pleasing tour of the shared appetizers.


I loved on some food I am not “supposed to have” during pregnancy. I say bring on the little ball of goat cheese and few small slices of hard salami on crackers.

After noshing a bit we headed into the basement for some gift fun. We did a White Elephant gift exchange – where you either pick a gift still wrapped or steal a gift someone previously picked.

IMGP8976 IMGP8981

There was quite the battle over a Starbucks gift card, an adorable gingerbread house cookie jar, and a super soft blanket with a nice mug. I ended up with a candle and some festive Santa holiday party food spreaders.


That was my first White Elephant exchange and it was so much fun! All holiday gift giving should be done like that. No?

We rounded out the night with a lot of chit-chat and trading off all the cookies. I love having a group of fellow mothers to bond with.

IMGP8984 IMGP8985

I had such a great time that it suddenly was 11:00 and time to head home with my pan full of treats. Don’t they look yummy?


I have yet to try any, but I don’t doubt they all taste delicious. I see a cookie a day with my afternoon cup of tea/decaf/hot chocolate. Instead of my piece of dark chocolate. Good cookies trump chocolate.

Well, I’m off to my parents’ house soon. I’m going to hang out there for awhile until my holiday fun tonight.

  • Which would you choose? A hunk of chocolate or a fresh baked good?
  • Have you ever done a White Elephant gift exchange?
  • Attending any holiday parties this year? What kind? I really want to do a tacky sweater party one year. They look fun to me!

Tags: ,

46 Comments to “Let the Holiday Fun Begin”
  1. I’m attending a holiday work party for John next weekend — no theme though. I’ve done a white elephant before.. they can certainly get wild!! Andddd I think I would choose a fresh baked good (especially if it’s chocolate, heheh)

  2. I’d pick the fresh baked good any day! I have a few ugly sweater parties to go to 🙂

  3. Therese says:

    How far are you from Kansas City? If you throw a tacky sweater party, I’m inviting myself! I’ve always wanted to go to one/throw one as well 🙂

    Also, I do love dark chocolate, but baked goods ALWAYS triumph. We are from the Midwest (breadbasket of America), are we not!?

  4. Lauren says:

    My dad’s side of the family is really big, so we do a white elephant exchange (we call it yankee swap) every year. We each buy a gift $10-20 and switch. There’s usually over 20 people in it, so there’s plenty to choose from and a wide variety. It’s always fun!

  5. Becca says:

    Umm, tough call. It would depend on what the baked good was. 😛 I defintiely want my uncle to make white chocolate fudge this year, though!!

    My parents went to a holiday party for Dad’s company last night. The only “party” I plan to attend is the Youth Group one next week. Which I need to find a gift for…
    Our Youth Group White Elephant parties are so hilarious. We’re supposed to bring old junk that’s been laying around our houses, but some of us buy stupid stuff. Last year, I bought a “bobblehead” President Obama that talked! For my sister to give. I gave a pair of pig slippers and one of those stupid motion-activated animals (a pig) that roll around and laugh hysterically. 🙂

  6. I love that picture of you in the end of this post! You look great! We did a white elephant exchange last year and it was a lot of fun. A fresh baked good trumps chocolate every time! Have a great day Tina!

  7. Kristi says:

    Tough choice I love choclate, but baked goods…. I guess I’m going to have to choose baked goods.
    I have done a White Elephant gift exchange. They are so much fun, especially that one gift every one is trying for!

  8. Katie Smothers says:

    Looks like lots of fun is to be had !!!! We are doing our “mommy group” cookie exchange tomorrow at one of the girls houses! I’m very excited, it will be my first one !! So, hopefully will come home with lots of goodies for Dustin!
    Then at the end of the week, the same group will be getting together childless for an adult christmas party! I think I’m actually looking more forward to that one!!! It should be a good time! Nothing like some games and adult conversation!
    Like yourself, I have ALWAYS wanted to do the tacky sweater party. So this year, on Christmas Eve ( when my entire family celebrates… and is typically in uncomfortable way to dressed up clothes) I have suggested a tacky sweater dress code!!! Which my grandmother (who.. lets face it, fits this to a bill every year) said that she is going to have to FIND a tacky sweater… I was going to go to her closet! Oh well. There will be LOTS of pictures taken I’m sure!
    Hope you have a great week of fun Christmas festivites.

  9. Tatianna says:

    Definitely the baked good 🙂 .. but it depends on the day and how I am feeling. Sometimes you just need chocolate!

    I’ve done a similar gift exchange before. We used to do that with my figure skating group and we had a few boys so it was nice to have the ‘picking’ aspect when most of the gifts are geared towards little girls 😛

  10. Anna says:

    As much as I like chocolate, fresh baked goods are so much better!

  11. I attended a holiday party last night, but I’m most excited about the small party that my friends and I have each year. We always do a White Elephant gift exchange and they can get quite fun even with the four of us.

    You are just glowing in the photo by the way 🙂

  12. Those reindeer cookies look so cute … any chance you can tell us how to make them? 😉

    I don’t think I can choose between chocolate and baked goods. Stop asking such tough questions!

    • Tina says:

      I would but I didn’t get the recipe from my friend. They are just pb cookies with mini choco covered pretzels for the ears and then white candies with m&ms for the eyes and nose as far as I can tell. Super cute!

  13. Priyanka says:

    That is quite the tough choice you have given us but I think I will have to go with the baked good!

  14. Lisa says:

    Sounds like such a fun night! I’ve never done a cookie swap before, but they look so fun and not to mention DELICIOUS! =) Hope your having a great weekend Tina!

  15. Allie says:

    Good cookies def. trump chocolate any day for me @ least! It looks like you had a fun time with the other mommies 🙂

  16. Kat says:

    Apparently your questions today just speak to my soul.

    1. I can’t decide, I’ve been loving on both of those things equally for the last month.

    2. Marcus’ extended family did a White Elephant for Hanukkah and it was fantastic.

    3.I am all about ugly sweater parties. Definitely do one.

  17. lindsay says:

    I can smell those goodies all the way from TX! Love it. I am a sucker for anything with frosting! 🙂

  18. Heather says:

    oh my gosh, give me fresh baked bread over chocolate any day. or fresh baked bread with chocolate on top. i’m not picky 🙂

  19. You look so great in that picture in your green sweater! I’m going to our annual holiday party w/friends next Friday. It was an ugly sweater party, but now it’s just funny christmas outfit-ish party. I’m wearing some really ridiculous get-up which will be posted on my blog when the time comes!

  20. Looks like lots of fun! I would go for the baked goods over chocolate any day. Yep, done the Dirty Santa thing many times. In fact, we did that at work on Friday. I ended up with a $15 gift card to The Container Store! You look great in green by the way.

  21. What a fun party! 🙂 And those reindeer cookies are too cute! Tell us how they are! 😉

    I would rather have a fresh baked good! I love baking (even though I don’t have a big sweet tooth) but I’d pick fresh baked goods over chocolate anytime! 🙂

    I went to a holiday party on Monday night (couldn’t stay long, I had finals the next day) and they had a white elephant exchange. I didn’t participate because I forgot my gift 🙁 but it was fun to watch! 🙂

    I would love to go to or host a tacky Christmas Sweater/ Cookie Exchange party! 🙂

  22. Katie says:

    I allllways go for baked goods over chocolate. Cookies are my favorite! I don’t really like chocolate much though.

    I have yet to make gluten-free cookies that are any good. 🙁 gotta keep working on that

  23. All those cookies look divine! I definitely have a sweet tooth! Thanks for your blog comment! 🙂

  24. I love that you’re not insane about all the “rules” for pregnancy and what you can and can’t do, eat, etc.
    Also, I could do with just some super dark chocolate and never have another baked good again. But I do need frozen yogurt 🙂

  25. fresh homemade baked good over chocolate, for sure. but it’s gotta be the right PERSON’s baked goods. Like certain aunts or my grandmas when they were alive…I would do anything for their baked goods but a random neighbor…meh, may go w/ the chocolate 🙂

  26. I’d choose the homemade goods over chocolate. I eat a little dark chocolate every day, and it’s not often that I eat the homemade goodies… so it’s always a yummy treat!
    I’m actually throwing a cookie swap for my mom friends and all our little ones next week (we’re doing a secret santa for the kids), so this post is making me even more excited for it!

  27. emily says:

    I rather have the baked good instead of chocolate. those reindeer cookies are super cute! i might steal that idea…lol!

    i love the elephant gift exchange. last year, i played this at a party…and everyone wanted the Candyland game!!! it was ssoooooo funny!

  28. chelsey says:

    I love White Elephant gift exchanges – they are always so much fun!

  29. Melie says:

    The foods look so nice! I am sure you had so much fun! 🙂 I am not so much of a sweets kind of person, so the question doesn’t really apply. But, if we are talking about spinach pie, I can eat an entire pan myself! 🙂

  30. Fresh baked goods always trump chocolate in my house, at least for me! The monkey would have a hard time deciding.

    I have been doing white elephant/dirty numbers gift exchanges since I was 7 or 8. The very first one was at a church party. 🙂

    No holiday parties here. Unless you count caroling with the church?

  31. Looks like such a fun time! I love holiday get togethers.

    If it was fresh out of the oven, I’d go baked good for sure.

  32. Sandra says:

    They do look yummy, and the reindeer ones are adorable!

  33. sophia says:

    If the fresh baked good is a scone or a muffin, I’ll say they trump chocolate! I’m not a big cookie fan, unless it’s something simple and basic like snickerdoodles, or sugar cookies. Everything looks good though, and most of all, lots of fun! 🙂

  34. I am LOVING these cookie exchanges I keep witnessing in the blog world – genius! And such a clever way to get recipes for cookies you like! Smart!

    Which would you choose? A hunk of chocolate or a fresh baked good? CHOCOLATE!
    Have you ever done a White Elephant gift exchange? yes – austin’s family does one every year!
    Attending any holiday parties this year? What kind? I skipped my work one last night – eek, but do have a tacky sweater one in Alabama this coming weekend!

  35. I usually would always go for a homemade baked good, but I agree with the others that say it depends on who is baking it! I haven’t ever done a white elephant gift exchange…it seems so fun!

  36. Looks like a great time 🙂 Last night my friends and I got together for Secret Santa. So much fun! I’ve never done a white elephant gift exchange (this is the first time i’ve ever heard of it, actually). I also really want to do a tacky sweater party!

  37. went to a holiday party last night! more on the fancy side, so i got to dress up which was fun 🙂 lots of sushi was consumed hahaah

  38. jen says:

    I went to a cookie exchange at my mom’s house yesterday. After baking 7 dozen cookies, the last thing I want to do is eat anything I brought home! Which is probably a good thing 🙂


  39. I love the idea of a cookie exchange. I haven’t done one, but I remember my mom doing them when I was young. Yesterday I spent the day with her baking cookies all day for upcoming holiday parties and it was wonderful!

Leave a Reply




Catch Up With Recent Posts

Announcement Time

Posted: November 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

Well, I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks over here. I missed all of you so much! I can’t express enough gratitude for your patience while I got some important things sorted out. Some scary things. Are you ready for the announcement? Here goes! I will no longer be blogging at Faith Fitness […]

88 CommentsRead more →

Self-Love Reflection: The Road Not Taken

Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hello FFF readers! Nice to meet ya! My name is Carissa and my husband and I blog at Fit2Flex.  Well, I blog…he consults! We are both certified personal trainers with a passion for healthy, active living and clean eating.  I am also studying to become a registered dietitian, a race announcer, and a runner.  Stop […]

24 CommentsRead more →

Healthier Eating For Kids

Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens! As parents, we want the best for our children. We help them to feel loved. We strive to teach them […]

14 CommentsRead more →


Posted: November 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey, everyone! I wanted to pop in and say I am working on some new and exciting changes.  As a result,I may not be posting as much during the coming week.  Please stay tuned for the big announcement! Love you all! And still feel free to find me on Twitter and Facebook for the time […]

21 CommentsRead more →

Where The Change Happens

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

It’s kind of funny. I become a certified personal trainer and the first workouts I turn to this week come from someone else. The book came in for me at the library last week and, after flipping through it, I couldn’t wait to give the circuits a go. Making The Cut includes a lot of […]

79 CommentsRead more →

From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Good morning! First off, thanks for the many congrats yesterday. Love you all bunches for the tons of support you have given me in so many things this year. I hope I can return a little bit of that love through this here blog as well. So yesterday I had my first parent-teacher “conference” for […]

55 CommentsRead more →