Sunday, December 23, 2012
A Christmas Party for the Munchkins
On a Sunday afternoon in late November, Isabella started making place settings for what I thought was an imaginary Christmas party. And then she made invitations and elaborate princess crowns for all of the guests, and before I knew it, this "imaginary" party turned into the real deal. We drove around town delivering those invitations that very night. She mostly invited neighborhood friends and some very old friends from her preschool days. Liam got into it too, so I let the invitation count continue to climb because I figured he should have some of his little guy friends there, too.
And then the planning! Isabella is a party-planner by nature (one of the few ways we are NOT alike). This year she told me that her very favorite thing of all about Christmas was the decorations. I was stunned when she told me she loved that even more than presents! (Needless to say, she wasn't very happy when I insisted we wait until December 1st to put our Christmas decorations up.) So, I've been trying to accommodate this passion of hers. I guess going along with this party idea was my way of doing that.
For two weeks, every day when she got home from school she'd want to get on Pinterest with me to come up with ideas for what to do at the party. While we did get pinning right away, I didn't finalize plans or shop for the supplies until the night before. Very, very bad idea. We missed the (adult) Ward Christmas Party because of it, although it didn't help that Will worked really late that night, either. So yes, in true Marie party-throwing fashion, I stayed up until 2am the night before making reindeer cake pops that didn't turn out. Grrr. I hung snowflakes from the ceiling, pre-cut paper strips for the craft, and baked brownies and made goody bags. Besides the cake pops, everything turned out great, though.
When the guests arrived at 9am (another reason I was up until 2am--what was I thinking having a party this early?!), we fed them all breakfast. It was fun to use the pancake griddle my mom gave me last year for Christmas. All the pancakes had cute Christmas things on them like snowmen and snowflakes. I so wish I had a picture of that, but I couldn't manage to serve pancakes and take pictures at the same time. Darn.
After cleaning up the breakfast, we split the kids into three groups and had them rotate between stations. At the kitchen table they made Christmas trees out of leftover Christmas scrapbook paper. They seemed to really enjoy that. In the kitchen, my sweet friend Jen helped them decorate brownies that I'd cut into the shape of a Christmas tree. Lastly, I gave Will the more open-ended, third station. I told him to play some Christmas games with them. While he did play the game I suggested where they had to draw cards and act out different Christmasy characters, he also put his own spin on things and had them to doing random exercising! I think he was worried he wouldn't be able to fill the time, so he told them they were going to get into extra good shape so they could get to the Christmas tree faster on Christmas morning. It was quite amusing to watch the kids do his off-the-wall drills, and impressive! There were some really strong contestants! And Isabella's face says it all, "Are you crazy, Dad?!" haha. That's what Dad's are for, right? To sabotage their daughter's parties?
So, anyway, as silly as I feel writing this, throwing this very simple party for my kids really kicked off getting into the spirit of Christmas for me because it's something I'd normally avoid at all costs. But because I was doing it for the little ones I love more than anything, I think it'll be one of those little Christmas memories I'll always carry with me. How's that for sentimental?
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