While both Robert and I are lucky to be able to spend actual Christmas day with our families, we had to do something in the meantime to get into the Christmas spirit.
LUCKILY, we've been so fortunate to have made the most hilarious group of friends this year in Austin. We all got together to spread a little Christmas cheer and wear some hideous Christmas sweaters before we all left Austin to spend time with our families.
We started off our Christmas party by cramming 20 people in our tiny, 600-square foot apartment. Collin took over the role of master brewer and made hot chocolate for everyone.
This is Lindsey, a friend from Robert's work. She hosts the best game nights at her apartment and has an adorable five-pound pup nammed Briley. He's a riot.
Despite our tacky Christmas sweaters, I'd say the ladies at the party looked great!
The men were in the kitchen serving everyon hot chocolate and coffee-- with a little Bailey's or Peppermint Schnapps thrown in for good measure.
I keep calling the party a Christmas party, which is so not PC. At our HOLIDAY party, we celebrated Hanukkah as well. Sam, our Jewish friend, brought the Hanukkah cheer with his homemade menorah sweater.
"Most Awesome Sweater" award was a tie between Sam's Hanukkah sweater and Lauren's who had a nutcracker friend on the front of her sweater...
and a nutcracker butt on the back.
Sam brought over some mistletoe, I think with the ulterior motive of trying to steal a kiss from Lety.
Didn't quite work out in his favor.
Collin, making sure the hot chocolate is just right.
Check out that marshmallow action in there.
I searched far and wide to find those adorable winter wonderland styrofoam cups. The ones at the grocery store were plain white and too small. The ones at Walmart were too big, didn't have tops AND were plain white. Worst combo ever. But the ones at Target were just right- medium sized and cute.
Here are my friends who moved here from California. They're turning into Austinites faster than Robbie and me!
I love "before" pictures of group shots. They're always hilarious to look at.
I'm so lucky to have all these crazy people in my life.
Elizabeth managed to sneak her way out of the group picture because she wasn't wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. Snapped a shot of her hiding behind Spencer.
The second phase of the night involved walking the Trail of Lights. Robbie and I live close enough to Zilker park that we walked over as a group to avoid the traffic mess.
The amazing (and kind of trippy) tunnel of lights at the very beginning of the TOL.
The Trail of Lights wraps around Zilker park. There are different light displays along about a mile-long stretch of road. We went on opening night, so it was PACKED. Here we are at the end of the trail, looking back at the TOL. This was by far my favorite view.
Our last stop was at the Zilker Christmas Tree, a giant "tree" made up of lights. It's tradition to spin under the tree while looking up at the lights. And man, did we spin. I think each of us could only spin around two or three times without falling down. So fun!
This ugly Christmas sweater party may be the beginning of a new Austin Christmas tradition. Looking forward to next year's party!