December 21, 2017

Holiday Cocoa & Crafting Party

We try to get together with our Red Fox friends at least every season. There’s a lot of us and we’re a pretty crazy crew so often it ends up being just guys, girls or part of the group but we try for the whole clan for special occasions (like this apple picking party). Now that we have a house and the others are still in the city, we’ve been hosting lately. When it came time for the Christmas gathering, I knew I wanted to do a boozy hot chocolate bar for the adults and some crafts (and cocoa) for the kids. I loved the idea of them making their own snow globes and ornaments. I also had color your own stockings on hand as well as paper, markers and a mailbox to mail letters to Santa.

Someone loves helping Mama set up. Baking, cooking, crafting and party prep are some of our favorite things to do together.

I cleared out some space in my office (and Lilly’s art room) so they could be contained/confined to that area and the playroom and allow the living room and kitchen to the adults. In fact, when they all entered and given the chance to craft or head to the playroom, most all chose craft! (Garland, letter box, snowballs, silver bin and sign all from Target!) At least, in theory. But, once the hot chocolate was ready and the snacks were out, that changed.

The stockings are also from Target (Can you tell I live there?). Of course I had to pick up some fox ones.

I put down Christmas color sheets (from the Target dollar bin), added our friends names and along with the craft supplies, threw down a ton of different crayons.

I set out little ramekins and bowls filled with red, silver and gold jingle bells, colorful pom poms, lights, buttons and snowflakes for the kids to fill their ornaments and, in some cases, snow globes. And different ribbon (candy cane, lights, gold and silver)  for them to choose to hang with ornaments with.

For the hot chocoalte bar, I think variety is key. I like to offer my guests lots of different options to customize their cocoa. It started with the mugs  (tall, wide, regular), carried through to that actual chocolate (shaved- classic, peppermint, salted caramel, actual bars and on a stick- peppermint, fall, variety) and finished with the marshmallows (snowflakessnowmenlettershot cocoa and stirrers) and toppers (gingerbread house). I also served three kinds of cookies (a hot cocoa and gingerbread set and iced gingerbread stars) from Trader Joe’s that everyone raved about! I put out some chocolates and peppermint bark too. I also had this ugly sweater cookie kit on hand for the moms to do while the kids crafted and guys watched sports but we were too busy boozing to care. 😉 (We added Baileys to the various hot chocolate concoctions.)

Growing up, we also used the same holiday platters year after year and I loved that tradition. I picked up this metal tree tray this year that I plan to do the same with along with the kids Santa plates below.

Once the kids were done with the crafts, we switched up the table for dinner with these holiday melamine plates in a mixed assortment of snowmen, Santas and trees.

What a kid’s winter party without a snowball fight? The kids had so much fun chasing the dads (and each other) with these.

I got these Santa letter cookies at Michael’s (but used these food writers cause the pen they came with? No bueno. I also used the cookie cutter again once the cookies came out of the oven and were still warm and pliable because they looked more like abominable snowmen than lists the first go round!). They kids loved getting to “write” their list and then eat them!

While the other kids were sitting by the fire, watching The Grinch, someone was late night crafting- my kind of girl.

If you saw my Stories, you know the night ended magically with carolers coming by to serenade us (and our neighbors). We used to do that in our neighborhood when I was growing up and I dreamed of doing it/having it one day with my own family. Doesn’t get better than that. Definitely a holiday (and life) highlight! I love that we’re in a neighborhood that has that and my kids will grow up getting to experience it year after year.

Lilly had her cookie for breakfast the next morning. ‘Tis the season!

This would also make for the perfect winter party or play date idea!

However- and whenever- you celebrate this season, we hope it’s just as fun!

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INSTAVENTURE!