18 Dec Throw a Party // Christmas Fun for the Family
The Christmas season is a lot different this year. Having a baby changes everything from the way you look at others to the way you watch the news to the way you celebrate and experience moments, milestones and holidays. I always enjoyed Christmas. It wasn’t my FAVORITE holiday of the year [Thanksgiving will forever hold that place!], but I liked it. However, this year, Christmas has become almost as magical as it was when I was a child. B is only 11 months old, but I love love LOVE watching him experience Christmas—the lights, the music, the gifts.
I can’t wait to teach him about Jesus, the true reason behind the season. I try to incorporate him into all we do, but as he gets older, my prayer is that he will love Christmas, not for the gifts he’ll get from Santa, but for the gift he’s already received in the birth of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I love to have a blend of it all, though. The solemn understanding that a king was born to a virgin to live and die to erase our sins and the fun, colorful part of the season with Santa, elves and reindeer. I want my boy to experience it all, but to always know what it’s REALLY about.
This year, I wanted to throw a party to celebrate the season, so I paired up with some of my all-time favorite people to put together a fun, family-friendly Christmas party that offers something for everyone to enjoy. Pop Parties, R Love Floral, Charmant Sweets and Kristen Dee Photography came together to help me make this party so much fun for our guests! Here’s what we came up with!
Nothing says Christmas like hot chocolate and yummy cookies! Hot chocolate is one of my favorite treats to make for myself during the season! Plus, when you add decadent toppings, like coconut flakes, homemade marshmallows, peppermint pieces and fresh whipped cream, I’ll melt as fast as those marshmallows! I wanted to make this party comfortable and fun for not just the kids, but the parents too, so I added a fun [mommies-only] addition… Kahlua!
Every Christmas, I buy my favorite Mama Lee’s Hot Chocolate in different flavors! This hot chocolate is absolutely amazing, y’all! I chose to put out two options for the hot chocolate bar… Raspberry Cream Hot Chocolate and Hazelnut Cinnamon Hot Chocolate!
We wanted to create a warm, Christmas, family feel, so we went ahead and set the table accordingly. Raquel, from R Love Floral put together a beautiful centerpiece for the table and spread the Christmas cheer by incorporating beautiful decor throughout the party setup! Raquel created a winter inspired arrangement for the tabletop using white amaryllis, red roses, blue privet berries, pinecones, and evergreens to complete the Christmas look.
The menu for the party was simple, hand-held appetizers. No one likes to have to sit and eat with a knife and fork at a holiday party, especially when they have children to chase around and monitor! I kept it paleo, too, of course! I served:
Paleo Pigs in a Blanket [I’ll maybe post this recipe when I figure out a way for them to taste good. I’ll be honest, these were awful.]
Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Cranberry and Sage Buffalo Meatballs
For dessert, I served gluten free chocolate chip cookies and these amazing GF Hazelnut Pear tarts from Charmant Sweets! Tram, the owner of Charmant was actually a student of mine and has now started an incredible bakery in Garland, TX! She’s extremely talented and I love all she does! We also had her gourmet hot chocolate mix with the homemade marshmallows “Simply Sacked” up super cute as a party favor for the guests to take home! These marshmallows are flavored, too! They come in Classic Vanilla, Peppermint Bliss, Spicy Mocha, and White Chocolate Cinnamon-Almond! What a cute Christmas gift! I picked them as my one of my favorite unique Stocking Stuffers this year [you can see that post HERE]! I’m so SO proud of my student… isn’t she the cutest?!
On top of the hot chocolate, I had a yummy signature cocktail! It was a Sparkling Cranberry gimlet with a fresh sprig of rosemary!
The menu items were labeled with these precious Christmas party prints designed by Courtney Richter of Clear Jar Designs! Aren’t they awesome?
We wanted to give the children the chance to decorate cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve! Since both B and I are gluten free, I picked up the yummiest Gluten Free sugar cookie dough and ginger cookie dough from the amazing Unrefined Bakery here in Dallas! Y’all… whatever you’re looking for in the gluten free or paleo or vegan world, they have it and it tastes GOOD! They’re an amazing bakery with several locations around Dallas and they make this lifestyle just SO much easier to live! I just used cookie cutters to make the shapes and popped them in the oven! Phew! I whipped up some buttercream icing and added some all-natural food coloring to make red, green and white icing options for the kiddos and put out fun toppings for them to choose from! We also had some fun little boxes ready for the kids to take the cookies home in!
We brought in a children’s table and layered it with a festive, green linen from BBJ Linens. Knowing that things could get messy, I decided to put paper on top! I had this great wrapping paper from The Container Store that I tossed on top and it made for an awesome contrast to the green and kept the mess off the linen! [How cute is that cable-knit design?]
Some of the children came decked-to-the-nines for our Christmas party in precious outfits from Smocked Auctions. Smocked Auctions if one of my favorite online boutiques where you can find awesome smocked clothing for children at discounted prices! B was wearing a precious Christmas bubble and these two darling girls [B and NA] were wearing some of their dresses for older girls! Go check out their clothing… they have an awesome store!
Since the kids were decorating cookies just for Santa, I figured he had to make an appearance to tell them exactly what he liked to eat on Christmas Eve! No Christmas party would be complete without him! It was such a special surprise and the kids LOVED him… well, some of them did… okay. Two of them did…
This little get-together ended up providing me with wonderful memories! It was the perfect way to celebrate B’s first Christmas season with friends!
Are you throwing a Christmas party this year? What are you planning to do?
Florals // R Love Florals
Treats // Charmant Sweets
Event Design and Decor // Pop Parties
Paper Designs // Clear Jar Design
Children’s Clothing // Smocked Auctions
Santa // My sister’s boyfriend… poor guy! HAHA!
Photography // Kristen Dee Photography
Linen on Children’s Table // BBJ Linen