Typically, I spend months planning a party. So three weeks ago when I decided to throw a little Christmas party at our house, I quickly got into party mode–there was no time to waste. I wanted a small, intimate, and fun party for the kids as well as the adults. I had a lot of ideas; but neither of our shipments have arrived in Shanghai yet, so I had to start over with Christmas decor, craft supplies and party supplies. My work was definitely cut out for me! After some thought, I decided to go with candy cane stripes for the decor and the theme was cookie decorating and letters to Santa for the kids. The adults were easy: hors de oeuvres, spirits and conversation!
We started by eating pizza for dinner, then the kids wrote their letters to Santa. Each letter had an addressed envelope to Santa at the North Pole and pre-paid postage! It was fun reading what the kids want Santa to bring them… Stavros decided while writing his letter to ask for a yellow bike from Santa. What, a yellow bike?! That’s the first time “Santa” has heard of this, I’m sure… Yikes, not what Santa planned on dropping off for Stavros. After writing the letters, a courier happened to stop by the house to get the letters to Santa over-night (perfect timing)! I set up a craft station for the kids, where they painted, colored, glued and constructed holiday-themed crafts. I wanted the kids to take the lead, so they saw the supplies and did whatever came to mind! I don’t know why, but painting is best when multiple children contribute. I think the crafts were the favorite part of the evening for all the kids. There were big smiles all around.
Once everyone finished with their crafts, the kids used their photo props I made to take silly photos. The kids had three options: a Santa hat and beard, Rudolph antlers and red nose, or an elf hat and ears! Fun! Next, we began decorating the cookies. The kids all got an apron, chef hat and oven mitt for the activity. I set out all the decorating supplies on the table, and just let the kids take the lead. Stavros, Tammer and I made the cookies earlier that morning, so the cookies were delicious and difficult to resist while decorating. Each kid got a bag to take his/her decorated cookies home to enjoy or save for Santa. Next, we headed to the dining room for some Christmas cake! Whenever there is cake, Stavros insists on candles. So, we all sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and three of the boys blew out the candles together. It was very sweet and very original, all thanks to my three-year-old’s tenacity!
For party favors, the kids got a reindeer water bottle, reindeer candy canes, a reindeer zippered pouch from Starbucks, hand-made Santa lollipops, snowman soup packets, a holiday cookie from Hââgen Dazs, a reindeer tree ornament and a snowman or reindeer candy bar. It was a successful party with great company. I loved the intimacy and I look forward to doing it again next year when Stavros will have an even better understanding of Christmas.