Friday, November 13, 2009

Planning Big Sis's Nutcracker Birthday Party - HELP!


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.

In my brainstorming phase.... the most exciting part, IMO..... I dreamed up this idea:

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!!!

8 comments:

c o u r t n e y said...

Do you know any older, teenage girls that do ballet? Possibly at a nearby dance studio? Taylor loves seeing the older girls dressed in their real tutus and pointe shoes. Maybe if you know anyone they could come to the party dressed as the Sugarplum fairy.
If you are having boys and girls, I think the theme of toy soldiers and ballerinas is great.
I can't wait to see what you come up with, your parties are always amazing.

Miss Priss' Momma said...

LOVE, you are forgetting your best friends have access to a trailer and we can get hay for a sl(hay) ride.

I happen to know a real life ballerina as well...

Wishing I could come by for that cup of coffee and sit on the porch and brainstorm with you!!!

MaryBeth said...

I'm not in brainstorming mode this afternoon, so I'm afraid I'm no help...but having a child with a winter birthday is difficult. Of course I guess the weather is never guaranteed to work out any time of year, but it's pretty much a fact that we will have to be inside where I live. I am working on a January birthday party and I don't want to pay $200-$400 to have it somewhere (bounce place, etc.) but it's hard to invite a bunch of preschoolers into your house without lots of activities for them to do. I don't want my house destroyed! We went to a b-day party recently with a scavenger hunt with clues. It was kind of fun, but again...tends to be easier if you can do at least part of it outside.

Special K said...

I would set up a fake dance floor (get that handy husband to get some plywood and fake parquet, get some cheap ballet slippers from Target (the slipper kind), some ribbon wands (Sylvie got one from dollar store), and put on the nutcracker ballet on tv and watch them imitate it! With soft shoes or socks (boys too) there should be not too much craziness. How fun! Sylvie has a ballet movie and the kids go crazy doing it at our house. Especially if there is dressup involved.

Ashley Smith said...

I love this idea! Lots of different things to do...

you can get ready to paint wood nutcrackers at hobby lobby...they have them in different sizes. then the kids could take them home in their goody bag to hang on their tree!

there are also a felt mouse that the kids can make (with precut face, ears, the googly eyes). Then you slide it on a candy cane. The cook of the candy cane is the mouse's tail.

*kimmie* said...

Big Lots has a ton of Nutcracker stuff right now!

You could incorporate a Christmas Tea sort of theme. Let them wear pretty dresses, have a kid friendly tea along with other activites. It goes along with the classy nutcracker ballet theme. I had one as a kid and loved it!

MissBliss said...

i love courtney's idea about dance studio locals... teen dance students are the best! Is there a performing arts school in your area? The dance department there may be able to help you out with some contacts....

My niece is four and this sounds like something she would LOVE.


Recently I had her and a friend entertained for a good hour while they strung beads to make necklaces, bracelets, rings, hairbands, etc. Since this age group seems to love stringing beads and making jewelry... maybe that could be an option with your theme involved? They were crazy about all the colors.... maybe special colors and a ballerina slipper beads, etc...

now I am getting excited!!!

can't wait to hear more :)

Special K's dress up and dance idea rocks!

Kim said...

I'm planning a Nutcracker party for my little girl too, and I'm reusing at least one old idea from a past Christmas party. I'm making a nutcracker tray of goodies. Put the nutcracker in the center, or in the middle of a small basket of nuts (preferably unshelled to discourage kids from using the nutcracker, which is not effective for actually cracking nuts), sugarplums (many recipes online), candied ginger, candy flowers, popcorn or snowflake cookies for snowflakes, chocolates, candy canes, etc. You could have a pot of tea available, and some "arabian coffee" for grownups. Celestial Seasonings makes a "Sugar Plum Fairy" tea. I like the idea of painting your own nutcracker, but it might be messy. I'm wondering if I can find some nutcracker themed beads for making necklaces. You could also read a picture book version of the story. Some kids may not know the story. Good luck and have fun!

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