The social calendar of Bubby D and the Wee Man is jam packed full as usual, for the time of year.
Party follows party, follows party – some more fun, food and Father Christmas filled than others.
Then the time came round for the annual kids party which I and a friend of mine (Ruth – who writes at rocknrollerbaby) were organising this year…and that meant I had to think for myself about…actually, what ARE the perfect ingredients for a kids Christmas party?
Well, here’s what I figured out:
You can’t really have a party without somewhere to gather for it, can you? And at Christmas time it’s best to gather indoors, in a well lit and reasonably large space when you’ve got 30 plus small people and a similar number of big people coming along. Toilets are a good idea, and some way of providing food (either a kitchen, or a venue that does food itself…). Luckily for us, Ruth found a hall that ticked all the boxes, and so the party planning could begin in earnest.
You can gather a bunch of kids in a room, but after a while they’ll inevitably start trying to break the light switches or investigating the toilets if there isn’t something to keep them occupied. So, best to avoid that and ensure that there are some toys strewn about and a party game or two (pass the parcel or two, anyone?) organised to divert their attention towards welcome destruction instead.
It’s worth remembering that parents like food too. So, while the kids were happily stuffing their faces with cocktail sausages, cupcakes and crisps, the adults were treated to a fantastic festive feast – courtesy of ASDA who kindly provided us with a lovely selection of their finest culinary wares to scoff. I’m a massive fan of food and the selection I sampled from their Extra Special range certainly didn’t disappoint – the breaded camembert wedges which came with a cranberry and port dip were lovely served warm straight from the oven (and they all disappeared pretty quickly off the plate I can tell you!) and as a liker of parma ham I was very happy with the oodles of that that were on offer – it was just the right taste and texture for me. I also couldn’t resist helping myself to a salmon terrine slice or three which combined the delicately flavoured creamy filling so well with the smoked salmon surround that I rather wished I had a tray or two of them all to myself to hide in a cupboard and eat.
Those who know me will be very aware that I do have just a bit of a sweet tooth, and so alongside the various homemade offerings of lolly cake, Christmas cupcakes, biscuits and cookies the mouthwatering array of ASDA’s chocolate sparkle cheesecake, hand rolled triple chocolate yule log, sparkly Christmas tree cake and deep Extra Special all butter mince pies had me (and many of the other party guests big and small) almost drooling in anticipation.
4. Party outfits
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without getting your little ones dressed in some kind of festive themed costume. Depending on the party, this year the kids have attended as Mr and Mrs Christmas, stars, Buzz Lightyear and an angel. There have also been the parties that call for nice party clothes rather than costumes, and while the Wee Man looked very jolly in his Next Christmas jumper, Bubby D radiated splendidness in her lovely Mini Club jacquard party dress which has a lovely finely detailed silver and cream flower pattern, yet is actually surprisingly hard wearing. It’s also short enough that she was able to crawl around in it easily without getting her knees caught in the skirt (something which she finds mightily frustrating). And talking of knees, those were covered in delicate looking white Mini Club tights, with heart shaped raised areas strewn over their surface. Despite my misgivings and fear of imminent holey-ness, they stood up to persistent crawling over grubby carpets amazingly well, without even looking slightly dirty by the end of the day. Both went in the wash (having been covered in chocolate log) and came out looking pristine again ready for wearing again two days later. Brilliant!
One pretty much guaranteed way to keep kids happy is to have a jolly sing along. Thanks to my old CD player (which the Wee Man has claimed as his own) and a cheesy CD full of children’s Christmas songs, this party was no exception and a raucous chorus of three year olds, their parents and siblings happily belted out Jingle Bells with big beams on their faces.
6. A festive visitor
Lets face it, no Christmas party would really be complete without a visit from the big man himself. And luckily, it turned out he had a window in his calendar to be able to pay us a visit. Although Bubby D is pretty much terrified of the large red bearded man who appears to be stalking her everywhere, most of the other party attendees had reactions ranging from shy awe to ecstatic screaming, compounded by the fact that he handed each child a little gift to keep them going til Christmas day.
Of course, it’s good to have friends to actually come along to a party – and as an ‘ingredient’ in that respect, they are essential! But more than that, it’s great to have friends to help you out with the planning, the liaison with Father Christmas, the setting up of the room, the provision of the food and drink and the cleaning up after the party is over. And I’m glad to say that I have lots of lovely friends who all came together, lent a hand here and there, had fun and allowed us to ensure that the venue was as clean when we left as it was when we arrived. So, thanks to everyone who turned up, took part and ensured that this years Kids Christmas Party was the best we’ve ever had. See you same time next year!