Today I'm home. Sipping pumpkin flavored coffee. Listening to directv's 40s on 40. (I love, love big band & swing.... it's so calming to me and reminds me of my grandparents.) Once or twice a year, I take a day off, send the kids to school..... I use it to recharge, get things done, catch up. And after working around the clock from Apr-Sept...then traveling all of Oct.... there's lots to catch up on around the Semi-Homemade home. Like planning Big Sis's Semi-Homemade birthday party.
Big Sis's friends come to our house (her idea). While some of them are decorating cookies with sprinkles, frosting, etc (again, Big Sis's idea), the others are on a sleigh ride (which was either going to be a horse drawn carriage or a sl(hay)ride.... a hay ride, decorated to look like Christmas!!) A snow machine is blowing snow around the yard (because in early Dec in TX... chances of snow are about zero. Which is why I love TX. Anyway...) Moms of kiddos are sipping hot toddies with me, ushering children between the 2 activities. Then, a knock at the door. It's Santa! Each child gets a turn to chat with Santa. He gives each child their goody bag, and off they go. Party over.
I even looked into these ideas, to see what they'd set me back. Turns out the horse drawn carriage would be $400+ (not a huge surprise), and the hayrides (which I thought would be more reasonable) are $500+. So, regardless of damn recession or not... those ideas are out.
A good friend of mine, and super creative, party-throwing mom suggested using the Nutcracker Ballet as a theme, and I love it! Toy soldiers, sugar plum fairies, The Land of the Sweets....
I plan to be all over Etsy, searching for ways to semi-homemade this theme a bit. I had originally thought I might do a gingerbread cookie theme and that's all over Etsy! The nutcracker theme might take a little more effort, working with sellers to come up with new designs! For example, these ballet shoe soaps would be great favors... for the girls. But I convo'ed the seller Mommy's Little Critters to see if she could do any toy soldiers or nutcrackers....
I think I can still manage to do the cookie decorating and a visit from Santa. But that doesn't seem like enough to occupy a big bunch of 4-yr-olds (plus a few special friends of various ages). So, what else? A bounce house in the backyard? Something else with a Christmas theme?
I need your ideas!!!