For 5 years now, the same 4 couples have participated in a progressive dinner the first Saturday of every December. I would say it’s become a tradition. When I wrote at (In)Courage about party invitations, readers really shared their hearts. Some really shared gut-wrenching stories of the pain involved with friendships, dinner invites, getting invited or not getting invited. I really appreciated the authenticity and I hope that the advice in my post helped.

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Basically, when it’s all said and done, the party starts with us. We need to create our own happiness and invite others in!

The group of friends who have been a part of this progressive dinner tradition are very special people to me. It’s something we look forward to each year because we get to enjoy time in each other’s homes by spreading the food and love over a 5-6 hour timeframe. It’s really wonderful!

How to plan a progressive dinner:

-Find 5-6 friends that you know you’d love to spend an entire evening with.

-After you establish the group, set the time and date and plan who will serve what course.

-Move from house to house for each course and enjoy every moment.

-Be prepared to really get to know your friends.

Today I’m sharing with you Cindy’s special touches for the evening (and her course, appetizers).

Along with serving scrumptious “appetizers,” and a really fun atmosphere and Christmas spirit, Cindy had her walkway lined with luminaries as we walked up.

It totally set the mood for what was ahead!

Luminaries are a classic holiday decoration. They’ve been around for years, and for as much beauty as they bring, they are unbelievably simple to make, with just a few inexpensive items that you might already have in your home.

How to make luminaries:
-Votive candles (for long burning, or if you plan to burn for a short amount of time, which works perfectly for a progressive dinner, use tea lights)
-White or brown paper bags, lunch-sized
-Sand or kitty litter
-Long lighter (like you’d use for the grill)

The first hour of our night was so festive and bright! Stay tuned this week and next as I’ll be sharing 3 more courses that went along with this dinner party.

Do you have a special traditional holiday dinner party (or open house?) that you host each year?

Share the details — I’d love to hear!

Here are the links to all 4 courses. Take a peek and start dreaming of your own party:
Main Course