It was a magical weekend at the North Pole!
Rella's 5th Birthday Party was a North Pole PJ Party with her little friends.
This is a really easy theme party if you celebrate Christmas because the house is already decorated with Winter/Santa stuff. All I did was light a fire, set the table, make some hot chocolate and bake some cupcakes and POOF- instant party!
The kids came over Friday evening in their Pajamas and placed their gifts on a sleigh. Then, they proceeded to Santa's Workshop (our dining room) for mug decorating.
I bought white mugs at the dollar store and had a bunch of colored Sharpee permanent markers. Once the mugs were decorated, I simply baked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven which makes the ink "set" so it won't wear off when washed/used. (Only hand wash though, no dishwasher).
I used these mugs as both the craft AND the party favor. I really love practical party favors, especially when they can serve "double duty!" All I did was add a bag filled with hot chocolate mix, marshmallows and a peppermint stirring stick, then tied it with a bow and there you have it!
The kids enjoyed some pizza for dinner while I "baked" the mugs. And, of course, I served hot chocolate.
I found these adorable bags of winter marshmallows at the dollar store for the hot chocolate and topped off with whipped cream.
Here is a great "real deal" hot chocolate recipe made in the crock pot. I have used it several times in entertaining and it's very yummy and serves a decent crowd.
Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
Add to the crock pot
1.5 cups heavy cream, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 6 cups milk (I used 2%), and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Heat on low for about 2 hours whisking occasionally.
As my husband notices though, kids like the IDEA of hot chocolate more than actually drinking it.
After dinner we played games like "Cold Snowball" (twist on "Hot Potato"), used glow stick necklaces for a Glow-In-The-Dark Ring Toss and played Freeze Dance.
After cupcakes we capped off the evening watching "Shrek the Halls" until parents picked up (Frosty, Rudolf and the like could be substituted of course).
I think she, and all her little friends, had a great time and I had a great time with a few Moms who stayed later for a glass of wine while the kiddos played in the playroom
and wore down their sugar high.
The rest of the weekend the holiday spirit was kept alive and hoppin'.
We had our school's annual "Breakfast With Santa" and Dr Fabulous and I attended a really fun grown-up, formal, Holiday Bash Saturday night where I was having too much fun to take a single photo.
We also (finally) got our tree. I feel like we are one of the last people in America to get our tree up, but we do it around this time or later every year. We leave it up through New Years until La Befana or the "Italian Christmas" on January 5th so we are never in too much of a rush with it.
The kids love decorating and CB even stayed in the room with us this year... though there was some drama when her diaper shifted and she peed all over our couch midway through the festivities.
Never a dull moment!
I am about half-way done our shopping and have several more parties to attend, but everything is going along nicely. I don't feel rushed or overwhelmed though there is much to do. At least, not yet.
Fifteen days and counting...
and trust me, they're counting!