Happy Birthday Adam! I love you, and I'm so glad we get to create this life together!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Obviously the preceding posts should have been posted months ago...but in an effort to not forget about them, I'm finally posting them now.
Last year I heard about a family who let their kids sleep under the Christmas tree the night they put it up. I thought it sounded like such a fun tradition so this year I decided to start our family's annual Christmas Kick-Off Party. My hope was to create an event just for our little family that
- gave us time to be together before the start of such a busy season with friends and extended family
- let us talk about our plans for the season and how we wanted to make it special for ourselves and others
- gave us a chance to learn and remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas
Overall, I loved how the party turned out and can't wait to continue the tradition. (i only took video of the party so don't have many pictures - these are just images saved from the video file.)
This year for the party:
- Elle and I made invitations for everyone in our family, and she passed them out to everyone at Family Home Evening a week before the party.
- We planned the party for the day after Thanksgiving so we'd have the day to put up Christmas decorations. We spent that Friday putting up and decorating our tree and setting out other basic Christmas decorations.
- For food, we ate appetizers: sourdough and pumpernickel bread with hot artichoke dip, veggies and dip, sparkling cider and cranberry juice
- During the party, we ate, planned, read the story of Jesus' birth from the scriptures, and opened up one present (pajamas - traditionally my family always opens pajamas on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to use pajamas as part of our kick-off. For Christmas Eve, the girls got to open a book which we read before bed.)
- After the girls put their pajamas on, we all watched a Christmas movie together. This year it was old Christmas cartoon classics.
Other things I envision for party but didn't incorporate this year:
- Sleeping out under the tree
- Hot chocolate/popcorn during the movie
- Talking about memories/looking atphotos from past Christmases
- Writing letters to Santa
Here's a few pics of our Christmas decor - thanks again to my sis-in-law Julie.
This year I wasn't very motivated about creating the Thanksgiving table decor so instead of focusing on the entire table, I just created the Thanksgiving menus for each place setting. (Thanks to my sis-in-law Julie for taking these pictures!)
I designed and printed the menu on Lettra paper in dark brown and orange. I also printed the name of each guest and then used an oval die cut to cut out each name with my Epic Six. The die cut name was adhered to the menu with foam tape for dimension.
On the top third of the paper, I printed Happy Thanksgiving and folded the paper so the menu/placecard would sit off the plate and the guest sitting across the table would have something visually interesting to look at.
We also used the traditional "go around the table and say what you're thankful for" as a fun way to announce to everyone that we're having a boy. Adam went first and said he was thankful for his girls. I went next and said I was thankful for our girls too but also thankful for little boys!
Elle and I made these turkey cookies for the kids Thanksgiving table. You can find a variety of how-to's and images online. For ours, we used oreos, fudge stripe cookies, candy corns, reeses peanut butter cups and chocolate frosting.
Elle and Liv both had a great time making and eating these. I think it would also be fun to make decorated pie crust leaves. You could use leaf cookie cutters or collect and trace leaves from outside.
Trace outline of hand on piece of paper and cut out with scissors. Place on piece of rolled out pie crust. Use knife to cut around hand template.
Color sanding sugar in desired colors with food coloring. Simply drop a few drops of food coloring into a bowl of sugar and stir until color is evenly distributed. We made red, yellow and orange.
Spread melted butter on top of each handprint pie crust and decorate with sanding sugar.
Take obligatory photo for mom with handprints ready to bake. Bake pie crusts in oven until lightly brown. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of the final product.