Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Entertaining

Achievement Day Girls' Christmas Party, 2002

Christmas Party GameCookie and Ornament Swaps Holiday Recipes And Gift Instructions

Persons sit in a circle and pass gifts right and left according to directions in the following story

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Tommy Wright.  He lived with his mother, Mrs. Wright and his father, Dr. Wright and his sister Sara Wright.
He had four shiny quarters left from some birthday money Grandma Wright had sent him besides the $8.12 left in his piggy bank.  Now it was time to buy the right present for each member of the Wright family.  So one morning he hopped right out of bed and quietly left home and went carefully down the street to the big store on the left side of Main Street.  The store was decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments.  Tommy Wright thought and thought about Christmas presents and he looked at all the things for sale. 
“Let’s see,” said Tommy.  “I know.  I’ll get Mother Wright some warm gloves.  Here is the right one but where is the left one?”  “Here it is, right under the right one.  They cost $3.06 so I have $6.06 left to spend.  Now for Daddy Wright.  Would he like a truck or maybe a ball or a left-handed catcher’s mitt?  I know.  I’ll get him a football so we can play catch right in our own backyard when he comes home from work.”
“That was $5.06 so now I have $1.00 left for Sara’s present.  Here is what she wants.  A pretty new purse and I think I have just enough money left.”  Tommy Wright clutched his presents happily and went running right up to the lady at the counter and gave her all the money from his left pocket and his right pocket.  “Is that right?” he asked as he gave his money.  “It will be $1.05 with tax,” she said.  “Oh no,” said Tommy Wright.  “I forgot about tax.”  Tommy started crying.  Tears streamed right and left down his little face.  Right then the door burst open and in came Santa Claus who had left the North Pole and had come right to Tommy Wright’s town to take orders from children for Christmas.  “Ho! Ho! Ho!” said Santa.  “We can’t have Santa’s helpers sad like this.  Let’s see now, I bet I have five pennies right here in my left pocket.”  Santa Clause checked his left pocket and found nothing.
“Oh no,” said Santa, “I must have put them into my right pocket instead of my left.”
“Here they are right here, Tommy, Ho! Ho! Ho! and a Merry Christmas to all the Wrights from Santa Claus and his helpers.”  Tommy Wright left the store and ran home to tell Sara Wright that he had seen and talked to Santa.
He was so happy that he wrapped his presents right away and put them under the Christmas tree.  Mr. and Mrs. Wright and Sara Wright were thrilled with the presents Tommy had purchased and Christmas morning left nothing to want. 
I hope your Christmases will be wonderful and full of the love we all feel for one another!  Merry Christmas!

Cookie Swaps

Because of the ease of preparation for the hostess, cookie swaps are very popular.   Some are for adults; others just for children.  Some invite only a few friends, while others accommodate a large church group. 
The Invitations:  Invite guests three to four weeks in advance.  Eight people is the ideal number—manageable, with enough for a good variety of cookies.  Have each person bring along copies of her recipe as well as some supplies for pretty packaging, such as ribbons, tags, or boxes.
The Cookies:  Ask each guest to make a dozen cookies for every person in attendance, plus an extra dozen for sampling; you do the same.  this way, everybody will go home with several dozen in different flavors to give as gifts.  If that seems daunting, scale back; if eight of you have six dozen to swap, you will take a few less of each kind but will still have an ample number.  Decide for, or with, everyone who will make what, coordinating ahead of time to avoid duplicates.  Sturdy cookies are best (very thin or delicate varieties won’t pack well).
The Swap:  On the day of the party, clear a few tables for sampling, swapping, and packaging cookies.  Provide several platters and cake stands, and have each guest put out a plate of cookies for tasting, with stacks of recipes alongside if you like.  Let everyone sample the treats—and maybe even take a vote on the best one.  When it’s time to trade, set out the remaining cookies and let each person walk around the table to pick up their share of each.  Or have people take only what they need to package one gift at a time, and return to the table for more as they wish.
The Display:  At the swap, it helps to know which cookie is which.  Use folding place cards that set in front of each variety as a label.  Write or print the name of the cookie and the contributor on the card:  “Chocolate-Drizzled Spice Cookies, from Laura.”  It’s also helpful to wrote or print a cookie menu that lists each of the different types displayed.
The Packaging Station:  Ask guests to bring wrapping materials; you might also keep some on hand in case any are overlooked.  Set everything out on large worktables.
Further Ideas:  This is a great mother/daughter activity.  Add a few appetizers to the menu and then serve the cookies as dessert.  Vote on awards such as fanciest cookie, funniest cookie, most original cookie, cookie with the best history behind it, etc.  When staging a cookie swap for a large group, ask each participant to bake as many cookies as they’d like to swap.  Have them package the cookies in zip-top plastic bags by the half dozen, and set out groupings of each on a large table.  Have everyone collect as many cookies as they have brought.

Ornament Swap

The same idea can be used to swap homemade ornaments.  Here's a picture of the ornament swap we did for Achievement Girls one Christmas when my younger daughter was eight.  She's the one with the pigtails next to the leader (name has escaped me)!  I was the assistant since we had so many girls.  (I've gotten a better camera since)!

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...