Disclaimer: We received a few items from Oriental Trading Company at no cost so we could share them with you in this holiday party post. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.
One of my favorite newer holiday traditions is the little party we throw to celebrate Christmas with our friends Colene and Grace. It started a few years ago because Eva and Grace were in Christmas concerts together at preschool and we’d head back to our house afterwards for cookies. They slowly got bigger and more themed just for fun so we’ve done a snowy penguin party, a midcentury Christmas, and this year we did a Sugar Plum Nutcracker party because Eva is the Sugar Plum Fairy in her school’s play this year.
I really prefer mini-parties with just a few guests to big blowouts where the whole class involved because the mini-parties are less work and I get to spend more on each of the guests (which is sort of cheating since most of the guests were my children, lol). For this one, I bought matching fleece pajamas with little nutcrackers on them from Kohl’s because tiny people who match are my favorite.
Each of the kids also got a stocking from Oriental Trading Co. filled with little nutcracker themed goodies including jingle bell necklaces, a snowflake wand, a nutcracker, some stickers, a little ballerina, a snow covered sisal tree, and a pair of Christmas crackers. The Nutcracker themed gift tags were easy to wrap around the little embellishment on these burlap stockings.
I didn’t do a ton of decor on this one. The big decorating piece that really set the mood was the gold fringe door curtain I got from Oriental Trading Co. It’s so festive and it was a good way to set our little party area out and make it special. Plus, I love that these are easy to store (just fold and wrap around a piece of cardboard) and they make the best photo backgrounds.
I also added a few things to the table to decorate, but almost all of it were things that we had around the house including the kids’ pink Christmas tree, Felix’s little red toy piano, our Santa nutcracker, and one of Eva’s ballerina fairy dolls. I love putting big pieces on the table because it sort of squishes down the table area and makes it look like you have a whole feast of food going on.
The food was really simple since the main party guests range from four to six years old. We had a cold sliced ham, some mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies with dip, oranges, grapes, sparkling cranberry juice, and some plates of holiday cookies. We also had cheese and crackers, which I “decorated” with a Nutcracker themed cupcake set since I didn’t want to make actual cupcakes.
Cupcakes are a bit of a party thorn for me because the frosting and crumbs get everywhere and I always feel like they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Using the cupcake papers to hold crackers and sticking the toppers in cubes of cheese was much more satisfying and we can save the rest of the cupcake set for Eva’s Nutcracker performance.
The table is set with a white tablecloth, some gold confetti dots, and disposable white and gold paper plates, cups, and utensils. Most of the serving dishes we own are white or white and gold so it makes it easy to keep everything matching for things like this. Little tip: I use craft felt sheets for placemats instead of “real” placemats because I usually buy the smaller salad size party plates for kid events and this way they don’t look teeny.
We turned on the San Francisco ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker for background music (thank you YouTube!) and had a fun and relaxing night welcoming the Christmas season. So grateful for these friends of ours and for this crazy sticky shiny noisy season of life where we have holidays full of little kids.