Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fun Family Festivities for Christmas

Fun Family Parties
Fun Family Festivities for Christmas: Party Preparations

Christmas is the one time of the year when everyone seems to make it a priority to get together. However, while adults find food and conversation a simple and comforting agenda, active tots and bored teens often end up restless at family affairs.
So how do we add a little sparkle and generate some fun for every member of the family? Our family has found that just a little extra hospitality and a few inter-generational games can make Christmas parties irresistible!

Invitations: We send snail or e-mail invitations about six weeks out that include the event details, encourage singles to bring a friend, and inform guests if they will need to dress in layers for outside activities. A quick phone call or e-mail about a week before the gathering serves as a much-appreciated reminder.

A gift exchange is sometimes part of our entertainment so we specify in the invitation what guests are to bring—perhaps an edible item, an ornament, a “white elephant” (a humorous or previously owned gift, generally considered useless), or any gift that weighs five pounds.

Atmosphere: “At its very essence, Christmas is a holiday that excites our senses. How things sound, look, feel, smell, and taste evoke memories of holidays past, flooding us with emotions,” says Heidi Tyline King of

Whether we hold our parties at a social hall, church basement, or in our home, a decorated Christmas tree, strands of twinkling lights, fragrant sprigs of pine, glowing candles, and a medley of favorite Christmas songs playing softly in the background produces a welcoming and nostalgic ambiance for a Christmas party. As an added measure of hospitality, we keep things touch-friendly by replacing Grandma Williams’ 50-year-old nativity with an inviting Playmobil one and making sure the holiday arrangement on the coffee table can withstand a child’s inquisitive fingers.

Refreshments: When it comes to food, we like to shake things up each year. We’ve munched on finger foods and sat down to a feast of roast turkey with all the trimmings. Pizza parties, including not only the traditional tomato sauce and cheese type, but also fruit, veggie, and dessert pizzas, are a favorite with our family. However, everyone loved the year we held a Christmas tea complete with dainty sandwiches, mini sweets, and a wide selection of flavored teas.

Often we encourage guests to wander around with appetizers and a cup of warm apple cider. Some years we serve cake and ice cream as part of a Jesus’ birthday celebration. For parties that include caroling, trays of Christmas cookies and hot chocolate best compliment our plans.

We always use sturdy paper product s and provide a low table where the kids can kneel on the floor to eat. Why risk tears over a plateful of food flipped upside down?

With a few simple preparations we can ensure our parties are festivities and not fiascos.

Blessings of the season today and always!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams