This post is in collaboration with Papa Murphy’s. All opinions are my own.
I absolutely LOVE the holidays, especially hosting holiday parties. Over the past few years, I have hosted many cookie exchanges, holiday dinner parties, and we even did a Christmas family gathering with 20 people one year. Rather than canceling traditions, this year we have been looking for ways to do them differently.
For the past decade, we have gotten together with two other couples to enjoy a meal and swap gifts. This often turned into an all-day event where the girls would go get a mani-pedi while the guys watched football, and then we would end up at one of our homes for dinner and gifts. Over the years the event has grown while we added children to the mix, and other families have attended on occasion.
A couple weeks ago we started a group text about how we were going to celebrate this year. While we all live nearby, we are still staying safe and distanced in our celebrations. After a few back-and-forth messages on logistics, we decided to take the party online, and to do porch drop-offs of the gifts so we can still spend time together virtually.
Originally, we were thinking that we would simply open gifts together virtually so we could see each other’s reactions to the gifts, and catch up on life; however, as we discussed further, we decided that we might as well go all out. Have the entire party, and enjoy the evening together – including dinner and playing a game.
By including our laptop as part of the table, we could imagine that our friends were there at the table enjoying the meal along with us.
One way that we kept our tradition alive was by enjoying a common meal among the group. This year, that meal was Papa Murphy’s pizza! Pizza makes a great meal for a group (even virtually) as it is so customizable.
Brad and I have ordered Papa Murphy’s Pizza regularly this year, and we always order separate pizzas because we like completely different toppings, plus then we can enjoy the leftovers throughout the week. If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it is that leftovers are life because coming up with three meals a day is a lot of work.
For our dinner, Brad went with a Papa’s Favorite (without cheese) which included toppings of pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, green peppers, onion, and black olives. I opted for a Chicken Bacon Artichoke which features the creamy garlic sauce and fresh spinach in addition to the namesake ingredients.
In addition to having lots of delicious flavors, Papa Murphy’s has many locations so it is easy for all of us to get a pizza within a few minutes of our home. Plus, since we bake the pizza at home, we can pick it up when we are out running errands for the day (or doing the present porch drop) and simply bake it right before the party.
While we all enjoyed getting together virtually this year and had quite a few laughs over dinner, we are still looking forward to next year when we can hopefully gather safely in person again.