My daughter begged for a Christmas party this year—lucky for her it doesn’t take much excuse for me to start designing an event! It was a fun experience planning this party; Maddie was there every step giving her input on what games to play, what food we should eat and what we should drink and give out as favors.
The front rooms of the house were decked out for the party in red and green with a “Chilly & Cheery” penguin theme. I handmade virtually everything in this party from the paper ornaments (tutorial here), ribbon rosettes on the aprons, paper trees on the tables, chair backs and wreaths (see the how to here). These were all great touches that anyone can pull off with a little effort.
We had a table full of fruits and vegetables for the kids, and a small sweets table. Edible Details sent the cutest little fondant penguin toppers for our cupcakes that the girls later put in front of their gingerbread houses. Renee of Bees Knees Creative sent some adorable (and delicious!) sugar cookies that perfectly matched our little penguin graphics. Both these penguin-shaped sweets were huge crowd pleasers!
And all those red stands? I’ve said it before–there isn’t anything a can of spray paint can’t fix. I picked up some footed bowls and a candle stick at Goodwill and painted the outside (not the inside where the food goes!) The striped plate came from Wal-Mart.
Other items on the table were peppermint fudge covered oreos, divinity (a favorite southern candy), white chocolate drizzled popcorn with m&ms (“snow crunch”), and chocolate cookie dough truffles. The favorite on the table were the “snow cones.” I dipped a large marshmallow in candy melt, rolled it in coconut and then placed it on a tiny ice cream cone and topped it off with a red m&m. Easy and fabulously fun! I’ll put up a pictorial tutorial soon to show you just how it was done.
On the main table, I created a little forest of trees. I made them using party hats and dowel rods! They were the perfect whimsical touch to our handmade party. Each table setting had a place card (kids love to see their names!), a plate full of candy decorations, a bag full of royal icing tied with a red bow, a glass of milk rimmed with chocolate and sprinkles, a snack box full of marshmallows and a cup full of m&ms. It was everything every girl needed to make a perfect gingerbread house.
Decorations are great to look at at a party, but the party guests have to have something to DO while they are there. As our little guests arrived, we had them sit and do a craft to give them something to do while we waited for everyone to show up. Using some fine glitter from Martha Stewart, glass bulbs and special glue, we made some tree-worthy glittery ornaments.
Maddie just couldn’t wait for the schedule of events to unfold, so as soon as her little ornament was done, she was off to play in the snow. This activity was such a crowd pleaser at Halloween, there was a request (demand) for a repeat! I filled a box full of Styrofoam peanuts and hid small toys and hair things in the bottom of the box. The kids had to dive mostly in the box to find them!
The next activity was meant to be sort of an ice breaker, but fortunately, the girls were all so excited by the snow bit I didn’t have to worry about that needing to happen. We played “wrap a gift”—two teams of three, all armed with a roll of toilet paper, raced to wrap up a precious gift, a mommy. I’m glad I was holding the camera, but our two mommies were really great sports about it.
Gingerbread house decorating. Each girl got their own apron embellished with a ribbon rosette before we started. We used the tutorial by Nicole at Tikkido.com for the gingerbread houses. This gingerbread recipe was really fantastic, and making the houses as a-frames made them go together in a snap. Each girl had her own frosting bag full of royal icing as she decorated her masterpiece.
We did a “yankee” gift exchange where you pick a present or steal a present as your number is called. Every single girl was thrilled with what she got in the end! I picked up some nice less than $3 piece gifts on Black Friday for this — so they weren’t that expensive in the end, but worth the glee this activity brought ten times over.
One last party trick I played…from another tutorial from Nicole at Tikkido.com (she’s so full of good ideas!!) In some clear plastic cups I put a drop of food coloring and let it dry overnight. I brought the cups to the table filled with ice, then filled them with Sprite or water for the girls…and they were all thrilled to bits when their drinks changed color to red and green. Why? They asked. I just told them it was a bit of Christmas magic (wink!)
The party ran late because the girls were having so much fun. Which I took as a huge compliment!
The penguin printables we used in our party are now available in our Etsy shop. (http://frogprincepaperie.etsy.com)
Photography and Styling | Paula Biggs at Frog Prince Paperie
Paperie | Renee Adler for Frog Prince Paperie
Fondant Cupcake Toppers | Edible Details
Sugar Cookies | Bees Knees Creative