Christmas Cocoa Bar
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The holidays are here, and along with the holidays comes more hustle and bustle and less time to stop and just enjoy the beauty of the season. I wanted to kick off the season on the right note, so I hosted an early Christmas Cocoa Bar with a few of my favorite people. We decorated much earlier this year than we typically do, but it is so very nice to know we don’t have to decorate during an already busy time! This is a super long post, and I will be sharing some of the DIY’s and recipe in later blog posts, but I promise it’s full of pretty pictures and tons of inspiration!
My tree, ornaments, ribbon, florals, wreath, and garland were sent to me from Balsam Hill, and I cannot even begin to describe how gorgeous they all are! Cricut and Balsam Hill partnered up to sponsor this post, and while you probably already know how much I love my Cricut, you may not know how I feel about Balsam Hill. I promise you the ribbon they sent was straight from Santa’s House at the North Pole! And the ornaments…and the tree, and, well, all.of.it! It’s so gorgeous! Do you know about Balsam Hill? I was familiar, but not truly informed. Photos cannot do their products true justice. Balsam Hill is committed to creating the most realistic artificial Christmas trees on the market with the newest technology. They offer amazing high-quality trees, greenery, and holiday decor to suit every home and style. I’m so excited to be a part of what Cricut and a selection of bloggers can created with Balsam Hill’s decorating themes in a variety of color palettes, combined with several of my handmade and personalized touches using Cricut. So, of course I set everything up as soon as I got it, which was before Halloween. I may have had my witch hats hanging from the ceiling with spiders all over one part of our great room, while another part was decked in Christmas wonder! We also may have taken the kids Halloween pictures in front of a Christmas tree. Clearly, I am ready for Christmas earlier than normal, so, of course I hosted a party!
I wanted the party to be family friendly, but informal, and less of a come at 2, stay until 4 kind of party, but more of an open house. Come as you are, whenever you can. The tree is so stunning and the ornaments are truly nicer than anything I have ever had, but with four boys, formal and proper is not something that happens often. So, I decided to compliment the tree and other decor with rustic touches that I DIY’ed with my Cricut, built with our power tools, sewed with a borrowed sewing machine, or purchased from my favorite discount stores.
Much to my husbands chagrin, I asked him to move our TV and game systems off the console for the day. I covered the console with a plaid flannel style table cloth from HomeGoods. On the front of the table, I hung battery operated deer lights and tucked them under Coke crates to hold them in place. I draped garland across the back of the console, and added my vintage Coke crates to each side. On one crate I placed a small red crock pot of the most delicious hot cocoa I have ever had, and flanked it with white cocoa mugs from the Dollar Tree and plastic French bottles from Hoopla Events. The mugs and crock pot got a little festive with Cricut gold vinyl deer stuck on them. I made a bottle wrap for plastic French bottle using hot glued scraps of flannel, and for a little glam, I added Cricut iron on gold glitter vinyl deer to each wrap. The bottles were perfect for Egg Nog! On the opposite end of the table, my other Coke crate was loaded with goodies and treats. The bottle partitions were filled with Hershey Kisses, candy canes, and peppermint melts. I filled a tall apothecary jar with mini marshmallows, and added a burlap wrap to it. The wrap was embellished with another deer cut with Cricut green glitter iron on vinyl. A red cake plate from HomeGoods served various breakfast treats from Sam’s Club. Plaid paper plates from Target were perfect for the party. Rather than serving a traditional cake, I served sliced cheesecake from Sam’s. I also had adorable mistletoe candy kabobs from Sweets From Heaven, Orange Co., fun snowman marshmallows, and delicious macarons to snack on.
I used my scrappy chalkboard and wrote a fun little festive quote on it. Then, I adorned the small cocoa cup with some gold Cricut vinyl to match the real ones I had out for the party. The chalkboard looked perfect above the sweets table!
We have shelves on each side of our TV, so I removed our daily decor, and added holiday decorations. One shelf had one of my vintage wood framed windows with a gold deer on it. Of course I cut it with my Cricut from Gold Cricut vinyl. I also added some Dollar Tree glittered snowflakes (though I should have just made them with my Cricut) and battery operated fairy lights to the window. All of the vinyl projects took less than an hour to complete and really made everything look so cohesive and beautifully rustic! On the shelf below that, I filled a basket with extra ornaments from Balsam Hill. I wove some of the floral pieces through the top, and added another strand of fairy lights inside the basket. Next to the basket, I added a wrapped gift box with a decorated cloche. I used a battery operated candle and wrapped two more floral pieces around it, then I put the cloche on top! So simple. Under that shelf, I put a black dining chair I salvaged, and added newly covered flannel and fleece pillows and a flannel throw. The shelf on the opposite side of the table had vintage Christmas stories and a marquee light. Since I only have one shelf on that side, I added a wooden ladder against the wall with JOY marquee lights from Target. The garland from the table draped down the side of the ladder.
My mantel may have been my very favorite part, but it would be nearly impossible to truly choose just one element! We have a brick surround for our fireplace, and a heavy wood block mantel…probably not my favorite aspect of our home, but…I hung a gorgeous 36″ wreath above the mantel and stuck gold pinecones into it for a little depth and more texture. However, the wreath is more than stunning enough to be hung alone. I draped the second garland on the mantel. It is so full and realistic! It covered the whole front of my mantel and drapes down the sides like a scene from a Christmas movie! I added a pair of small owls to the garland for more visual interest. The mantel was decorated with apothecary jars filled with lights, ornaments and lights, and even a small DIY snow “globe”. I also found a pair of vintage looking snow skis decorations in the Target Dollar Spot, and I thought they were the perfect addition to the mantel. Finally, I hung two of the boys’ stockings from each side of the mantel.
The fireplace hearth was decorated with a DIY wooden ladder covered in cozy blankets, and a DIY wooden sleigh. I borrowed my friend’s daughter’s ice skates to hang on it, and added a small stuffed Santa from Hallmark in front of it.
Finally, the tree…oh, the tree. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful fake tree I have ever seen! I love, love, love it. I have never had a fake tree before, but this one may convert me! It sets up with great ease, and is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful! It is covered with stunning glass ornaments from Balsam Hill, with added floral pieces. Finally, I wrapped it in Santa’s velvet ribbon. I used my own red and plaid fleece tree skirt and wrapped boxes with Kraft paper from the Dollar Tree, plaid paper from HomeGoods, and custom paper from Zazzle.
I truly felt like I was on a Christmas movie set when I stood back and looked at the whole room! I still pinch myself when I walk in the room and look at it all!
You still with me? I know this was a LONG post, but I filled it with beautiful inspiration. Would you like to replicate the look? Visit Balsam Hill to save up to 40% and enjoy free shipping site wide. And, grab a Cricut, some vinyl, some iron on vinyl, and poster board.
Many, many thanks to everyone that was a part of our Christmas Cocoa Bar! Cricut and Balsam Hill, Sweets From Heaven, Hoopla Events, my cousin Sue for helping me set up, my friend and amazing photographer – Christina of Luxe Light Photography, my friend Christine for the macarons, and our friends for helping us kick off the Holiday season in the best way possible!
Styling: Everyday Party Magazine
Printables: DIY Modern Hostess
Candy Kabobs: Sweets From Heaven, Orange Co.
French Bottles: Hoopla Events
Photography: Luxe Light Photography
Cricut Machine and supplies from Cricut
Tree, Wreath, Garland, Ribbon, and Ornaments from Balsam Hill.