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Christmas Party Ideas for Families

Handmade doll ornament hang from the tree

Family Christmas Party

Years ago I would pore over my copy of Martha Stewart Living, envisioning all kinds of elegant and fanciful holiday parties I would host. The table would be neatly and creatively set, the food carefully prepared, the mood festive yet calming.

Then I had children.

My vision of the Christmas Party of the Year quickly flew out the window as reality set in. Parenting is hard work all year long. How could one pull off a great party with kids in tow? And even if your kids were perfect angels, how could you make sure that your guests would have a good time if they had to wrestle their kids to sit and eat or not tear the house apart while the adults visited.

That’s when I realized that Christmas parties look different for families. And that’s okay.

If you find yourself in the same situation, consider these ideas for making your next holiday get-together a little more kid-friendly.

Have ample pint-sized snacks ready at the get-go.

Kids are often hungry at get-togethers, especially when they’ve had to fuss over their clothes, get loaded in the car, and mind their manners. Not to mention having to wait patiently for when the parents are ready to eat.

Having child-sized appetizers ready at the start of your party can be a great way to help little ones keep it together. Since they have small mouths and small tummies, you don’t need to make a lot. But, a plate of canap‚s (try PBJ instead of salmon spread) as well as a fruit platter can easily fit the bill.

Provide an activity.

Kids can get bored pretty easily especially in unfamiliar surroundings. The last thing you want is for them to venture off into areas of your home that you might prefer to keep off-limits.

Pull out the board games, the craft supplies, and maybe even an edible craft like cookies to decorate. Set up several tables or rotate the activities when interests begin to wane. Either way, make sure a parent is on duty at all times and that parents rotate in and out of the responsibility. Inevitably, there’s one mom or dad who bears the brunt of it and misses out on the rest of the party. Don’t let that happen to your guests.

Talk to your young guests.

If children are to become adults that respect others, they’ll learn it best by example. You’ve invited these little people, be sure to engage them and visit with them as well as with their parents. Even a few minutes are a valuable investment that will make a difference years down the road.

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