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I love finding one "inspiration" piece and then customizing an entire event around it. For Kyler & Havyn's first annual Christmas party (oh yes, we're definitely doing this every year!), I found a red, white and black print wrapping paper with cute little deer silhouettes all over it. Love!
Our invite list consisted of 6 mamas (2 expecting) and 9 children under the age of 2, plus my own two little tikes. Wait, am I crazy?! Well, this did require some strategic activity and menu planning. We covered one whole wall in the basement with a roll of white paper for the kids to scribble on to their hearts' content. I also blew up some balloons and left around the floor for the kids to enjoy. And fortunately, our basement is basically one large playroom, so the kids were all free to run and play.
The menu was a bit trickier. I went with: shredded chicken sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and bread, penguin cheese crackers (off-brand of goldfish), fruit snacks, freeze dried peas (a new favorite sold at Target), water and juice. My goals: variety, little-to-no prep the day of the event and "mess-free" options for toddlers.
Dessert I went a little crazy with, because what's a good party without lots of sweets?! I had coffee, chai and hot chocolate available for the mamas, cupcakes, peppermint pops, candy canes, coconut balls, gingersnaps, chocolate pudding with whip cream and for the slightly more health concious, yogurt covered raisins! Mmmm...I'm still enjoying the leftovers! :)
I emailed the menu out in advance so that mamas could decide if they needed to bring additional options for their kids, which seemed to work out well. We bought each guest a new Christmas book and setup a miniature tree in the basement for them. Kyler enjoyed passing them out to his friends!