Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Party -- Fun Easy Ideas for Food and Decorations!

I just love Christmas time.  I love the music, the smells, the foods, the lights of candles and Christmas trees, and the "excuse" to have a great time with friends and family.  Hubzy and I hosted a Christmas party this past weekend, and it was a really nice time!

We had a White Elephant gift exchange which was hilarious! I found a zippered coconut at a yard sale a few years ago and thought it was a perfect White Elephant gift!  I held onto it just waiting for the occasion.......but since we didn't have a White Elephant party to go to, we planned our own.  ;)

First, we cleaned and decorated the house.....we reworked the dining room centerpiece and made it all "Christmas-y".  We tried lots of different combinations of candles, glass pieces and ornaments, and the hubzy finally came up with this......I love it!

We reused some of the blue glass that was in the original rustic fall-ish table centerpiece, in our nativity set arrangement.  My sister gave me this Willow Tree nativity set as a gift a few years ago and I love it!! It's one of my very favorite things to put up when we're getting the Christmas decorations out.

I also gave our sad, sad front door wreath a makeover.  Years ago I had wrapped some wired burgundy ribbon around it that was leftover from our wedding......and it stayed that way for 12 years!  I wish I had taken a picture to show you how sad it was, but it was embarrassing.  I thought I'd try to put some new life into it. 

I wrapped some new gold ribbon (from clearance after Christmas a few years ago) around it, tucked some ornaments in it (tying them on with some skinny black ribbon so it wouldn't be seen), then tied up a bow to finish it off.  I'm certainly no wreath or bow expert, but in about 30 minutes it looked soo much better!
(now that I'm looking at the picture though, I'm going to have to rotate some of the ornaments to better balance the colors....I did this just a couple hours before the party)

We tweaked the living room a little......normally there are "squooshed" marbles around the votive holders in these candle holders, but we added some green by replacing them with split peas (like I saw here). 

We also have a cool old wooden box sitting on a credenza that we decided to fill with a box of Christmas treasure.  ;)

In our living room hangs a great picture of palm trees that we found clearanced at Bed Bath and Beyond a few years ago, but it just seems weird to us to have palm trees on the wall, in the Michigan.....but the wall looks naked without a picture, so we wrapped it in wrapping paper and ribbon, and I made another bow.  It adds some fun color to the lonely side of the room that's opposite the tree.
(sorry it was hard to get a good picture...but you get the idea)

There were going to be kids and adults at the party, so our menu was kid-friendly.  Friends brought snacks to share, like cheese and crackers, and those yummy pretzel/hershey kiss/M&M treats. 

Of course I used Pinterest as a resource to find some yummy treats.....and like usual, it did not disappoint.  ;)
We had these tortilla roll-ups, that I attempted to stack into a Christmas tree, but they didn't quite turn out like this picture. 

My sister assembled a "mini-sausage wreath" (little smokies wrapped in strips of crescent roll dough, baked into a ring like a wreath), and I was going to make these pretty winter cupcakes, but ran out of time.  I also thought about making a red and green layered Christmas cake (like the easy Rainbow layered cake I made this Summer), but changed my mind so that we could stick with finger foods.

I did however make these Reindeer Cupcakes that were a big hit. I had a great little team of helpers that helped attach the eyes, noses, antlers, etc.  I think they turned out so cute and they were yummy too!

I don't really have a tutorial for the cupcakes since they were so easy, but here's what I did:
  • make a boxed cake mix according to package directions
  • spread chocolate frosting on top of cuppycakes (I used a tub from Aldi's)
  • place a Nilla wafer for the nose/mouth area
  • add tiny twist pretzels for the antlers
  • use coconut M&M's as eyes ("gluing" them on with a dab of frosting)
  • "glue" an M&M nose on
  • add a dot of frosting on the eyes (using a frosting bag with a writing tip would've been neater, but I was in a hurry since guests were already arriving -- an edible food marker would work great too!)

As everyone arrived, we talked and gathered around the food, then we had the kids do their White Elephant exchange.  There were 14 of them, ages 4-11....and it was pretty funny to see their reactions as they tried to figure out this weird way to give gifts, lol. 

When they were done, the adults did our gift exchange.....good times!  It's always fun to see what everyone brings to a White Elephant party.  We also played CatchPhrase which is one of my favorite's just one of those games that's perfect for adults or kids, whether you have a few minutes or a long time to play!

We had lots of laughs and fun with friends, but didn't have to spend a lot.  It was a pretty cheap party!  I hope that maybe I've given you some frugal ideas for recipes or decorating for your holiday soiree!  =)

Do have a Christmas party planned, that you're either hosting or attending?  What kind of yummy treats will you make?  Are you a fan of White Elephant gift exchanges?

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1 comment:

Prasad Kumar said...

Wow, wonderful and such creative decorating ideas for the Christmas. I was actually been collecting beautiful Christmas decorations to add in my Pinterest board and luckily found some here. Thanks!