This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SavorTheMemory #CollectiveBias
Holiday Party. As I am sure you can guess, I love hosting parties, especially holiday parties! This past weekend, we opened our home for one last celebration before Christmas. We invited my husband’s clients during the early part of the afternoon, and some of our friends for a more playful evening celebration. It was an awesome, exhausting, fun filled, heart warming way to spend the weekend before Christmas with our friends and client families!
There is something so absolutely magical to me about the 8oz glass bottles of Coca-Cola with Santa on them. I was THRILLED to find 6 pack boxes at my local SafeWay store! I have been looking for them all season, so I happily bought all 8 packages off the shelf. I was even more excited to find out that I would get a $20 credit to Shutterfly.com with a purchase of 4 participating Coca-Cola products! I received two printed Shutterfly.com coupons when I checked out, it could not have been more simple. Redeeming the coupon is simple as well, head to shutterfly.com, and use the unique pin printed on the coupon and enjoy your shopping!
Since we hosted two parties this weekend, we wanted to make it as simple as possible. My favorite entertaining tip is to make everything as easy for yourself as possible…even the most simple tasks become difficult when planning for entertaining. Don’t try new recipes, use what you have on hand, and pre-prep as much as you can. I also make a list, what can I do 7 days before the party? What can I do 3 days, 2 days, and the day before the party. Each list is written out and placed where the whole family can see it and help check off tasks. The week leading up to the parties, I baked 9,453,242 cookies, two dozen mini pies, hundreds of marshmallows, and prepped the house. The night before the party, we prepared the fresh foods, and tended to last minute details around the house. The morning of the party, I set up stations in our great room, and outside. Each station was spaced to allow for flow and guest enjoyment. Each table was set up with different foods and drinks.
Inside, on the dining room table, we had a chili bar set up. My husband has a semi-famous secret chili recipe, and everyone that has every tasted it raves about it. Likewise, I have a secret family recipe for mac and cheese that everyone loves. We each made huge batches of our signature dishes, as well as fresh rice. We also had fresh bread, grated and cubed artisanal cheeses, fresh veggies, and crackers on the table. I added festive holiday decor along the back edge of the table on various crates and stools for height.
I cleared off my work table, and dressed it with empty boxes wrapped in inexpensive buffalo checked plaid wrapping paper, decorative wooden deer, and rustic trees topped the boxes with a hand lettered chalk board Cookie Bar sign. I added my chocolate waterfall to the middle of the table. Jars and trays of cookies were scattered around the table, along with a tray of fresh fruit, and a metal tiered shelf full of homemade 5″ caramel cream custard pies in boxes. A tray of fresh marshmallows was definitely a top spot at for our guests.
On our back patio, I set up a hot and cold drink station. The big and little guests were frequently found crowding around the hot cocoa bar with DIY toppings, and the Coca-Cola bar. I filled my rustic Coca-Cola crates with 8oz bottles. A piece of wood topped my larger vintage style Coca-Cola crate, allowing it to act as a riser for water and green Sprite punch dispensers. A fun penguin disc drop game and a JOY sign finished off the Coca-Cola bar. We brought our snow cone machine outside and it was a huge hit with the kids and parents alike! There is nothing better than a Coca-Cola over fresh shaved ice!!
We wanted to keep the littles entertained while the adults caught up and enjoyed each others, so I set up activity stations around the yard. Corn hole snow ball toss, and falling snow were enjoyed by all the guests. But, the reindeer food station, ornament station, and Santa letter station were constantly attended as well. Again, it was important to keep the stations easy to access, and allow for good flow…we set up the corn hole snow ball toss (Our regular corn hole game, moved closer together with large white “snow ball” pom poms), the snow machine, and the ornament stations outside. The ornament station was so much fun for the kids and adults! I used clear plastic ornaments from the craft store, craft ribbon, tiny jingle bells, snow flake stickers and a half a bag of buffalo snow. I “built” a table outside with oversized birch logs (my friend gave them to me) as legs and a wood pallet table top. Small vintage school chairs were perfect for the table. On the table top, I had containers full of the plastic ornaments, while a small glass jar held the buffalo snow. A funnel, and paper cupcake liners were the perfect way to get the snow into the ornaments. The kids were able to add stickers to the outsides of the ornaments and bells to the ribbon ties. It was a great (albeit messy) project for kids of all ages. The less messy projects were inside. This helped with clean up after the party as well.
Each guest took home their own little Santa Coca-Cola bottle and some cookies, and we all have memories to last a lifetime! I cannot wait to create custom thank you cards for everyone with all the pictures I snapped at the party, and thanks to Shutterfly.com and Coca-Cola I will be able to do it on a budget too!