Easy Balloon Arches

Plan a Birthday Party in Just 4 Weeks

Your child’s birthday party is approaching and you want it to be special. Following is a checklist of items to consider when planning your child’s birthday party.

4 Weeks before the Birthday Party

*Select the date, time and location of the birthday party.
*Get the birthday child involved by letting them pick out the theme. Party themes can range from a favorite character to their favorite place (e.g. a pool, bouncy house, or park) or time of year (e.g. a summertime luau theme for a winter party).

3 Weeks before the Birthday Party

*Create the guest list.
*Determine if you will need to arrange for party helpers based on the size of the guest list.
*Mail the invitations.
*Plan the party activities, such as a scavenger hunt or a piñata where it’s easy for everyone to join in on the fun.
*Think about decorations. Consider a welcome sign and colored streamers. This is a great activity for the birthday child to help with the night before the party.
*Plan the menu. Will it be held at a time where you will need to serve pizza or chicken fingers for lunch, for example? Or, will it be held during a time where a snack may be required? Are you hosting the party off-site? If so, does the facility have special requirements regarding food?
*Determine the party favors. Character-themed bags are a nice addition to a themed-party, though not necessary. Sometimes seasonal bags offer a fun change, such as a bucket (which serves as the party bag) filled with a shovel, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, or other activities for a summertime party.

1 to 2 Weeks before the Birthday Party

*Buy a birthday present for your child!
*Buy the party supplies, decorations and favors.
*Order the birthday cake (unless you plan to make it yourself) and the helium balloons.

1 to 2 Days before the Birthday Party

*Pinpoint an exact guest count by calling those who have not responded.
*Prepare the party food.
*Decorate the area and prepare for any activities and games.
*Pick up the cake, helium balloons and any last minute supplies.

The Day of the Birthday Party

*Set out the food, plates, napkins, juice boxes, etc., or order the food, such as pizza, as appropriate.
*Place your present for the birthday child in an area to serve as a precedent for where guests should drop off presents.
*Set the bags in a spot where you will remember to hand them out to guests when the party is over.
*Make sure your camera is accessible! If you feel you will be busy managing food and activities, assign a trusted friend or family member to snap photos of the party or videotape it.

*Above all, remember that this event is being held to celebrate your child. Don’t worry if you end up one juice box short, or if something goes awry with one of the planned activities. Once the party begins, relax and enjoy the smile on your child’s face.

Hilary Basile is a writer for MyGuidesUSA.com.Where you will find valuable tips and resources for handling life’s major events. Whether you’re planning a wedding, buying your first home, anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, contending with a divorce, searching for a new job, or planning for your retirement, you’ll find answers to your questions at MyGuidesUSA.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Hilary_Basile

Restaurants that give free birthday dinners

Ryan at Hey it’s Free.net has compiled a HUGE website of free things, and this is what he lists for free birthday dinners:

These restaurants have free dinner when it’s your birthday.  Sometimes you have to sign up for their mailing list, which allows them to send you coupons and other promotional material. other times, all you need to do is show up with your identification.

Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy – Get a coupon for a free dinner entree with the purchase of an equally priced entree.

Acapulco – You’ll get a 100% free entree plus a free Guacamole right when you sign up.

Alfy’s Pizza – Free mini pizza for kids 12 and under.

Amato’s Sandwich Shop – Join the Tamatos Club and get a free birthday sandwich.

Applebees – Free dessert. They also have a newsletter, but I don’t know if it sends out a birthday coupon or not.

Arby’s – Sign up and get coupons year round, including on your birthday.

Atlanta Bread Company – They have a VIP eClub that you can sign up for, gaining you a free cookie on your birthday.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – They’ll send you monthly coupons all year long if you sign up for their newsletter, so it’s pretty safe to guess you’ll get a birthday treat.

Austin Grill – Sign up and get a free meal.

Bakers Square – Sign up for the eClub and get a free pie.

Baskin Robbins – Get a free ice cream treat if you sign up for their Birthday Club.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s – They’ll send you a coupon for a free appetizer.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Become a Chunk Spelunker and you can get some free ice cream!

Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant – They’ll send you a $30 gift certificate valid during the month of your birthday.

BD’s – Join Club Mongo and get a little something something on your birthday!

BJ’s Restaurants – Free Pazookie!! (otherwise known as a delicious dessert.)

Black Angus Steakhouse – Receive a complimentary dessert for joining the BA Prime Club and a free steak dinner for your birthday!

Bob Evans – Free kids meal for anybody under the age of 12.

Boston Market – Free kids B-Day meal coupon for kids under 12 and coupons online for their various entrees.

Bonanza Steakhouse – Yet another free birthday surprise that I can’t figure out what exactly is! Oh well, just join their club and find out when they e-mail you.

Bruster’s – I’m not sure what the freebie coupon they send you is worth, but I know one comes since their own “contact us” page mentions that Sweet Rewards members get a birthday treat.

Buca di Beppo – Sign up for their eClub and get a free dessert.

Buffalo Wild Wings – You get a Free dessert with a $5 purchase.

Burger King – Free kids meal to all kids club members.

California Pizza Kitchen – Free kids meal during the month of their birthday if you register first.

Captain D’s – Join their D’s Club and get a coupon for $3 off any meal, among other freebies.

Caribou Coffee – They’ll send you a coupon for a free drink on your birthday.

Carrows – Free cake plus a free dessert just for signing up.

Cattlemen’s – Free dessert and cowboy hat

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse – Sign up and get a free dessert plus points for every dollar spent.

Chevy’s – Free dessert and sombrero

Chicken of the Sea – Join their Mermaid Club and they’ll send you a free birthday gift. I’m just hoping it’s not a tuna-flavored cake or anything…

Chili’s – Free dessert if you join their club.

Claim Jumper – Free dessert if you join now.

Coldstone Creamery – Join now and get a free creation on your birthday. (My…God…Is…This…Delicious…)

Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!

Country Kitchen – As long as you have valid ID, you get a free dinner entree up to $8 in value.

Culvers – Free sundae as well as a few printable coupons when you first sign up.

Dairy Queen – Free ice cream coupon via e-mail for kids 16 and under. They also have a Blizzard Club for adults with the same offer.

Damon’s Steakhouse – Within 24 hours of sign-up, they will send you 10 bucks off your meal  with the purchase of another comparably priced meal. So every time you and a friend go, you can get $10 off as long as you use a different email address.  Plus, they send you a few coupons for your birthday!

Daphne’s Greek Cafe – Free entree on your birthday when you join their ePita club.

Del Taco – Get two free soft tacos now and a free premium milkshake on your birthday.

Denny’s – Free meal & sundae to kids under 10 as long as you sign up ahead of time.

Don Pablos – Free $10 gift certificate after joining the Don Pablo Habanero Club.

Einstein Bros Bagels – Not sure what their eClub will send you, but it’s probably a coupon for a free bagel.

El Chicos – I’m told you get a free dessert, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.

El Torito – Have a coupon for a free meal e-mailed to you during your bday week.

Famous Dave’s Barbeque – Free meal with advance signup.

Fazoli’s – Join their eFamily and get a coupon for a free desert.

Fire Mountain – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday.

Firehouse Subs – Sign up and get an email for a free sub.

Flat Top Grill – Join their E-mail Club and get a coupon for a free stir fry on your birthday.

Friendly’s – Free ice cream cone if you join their birthday club.

Fuddruckers – They have a Fudd Club which will w-mail you a coupon for a free 1/3 pound burger.

Glory Days Grill – Free sundae on your birthday if you sign up in advance.

Gold Star Chili – Get a free dessert on your birthday, plus a free treat on your anniversary of joining up AND a free appetizer just for joining.

Gordon Biersch – They say you get a special “e-gift” on your birthday, which is a Buy One Get One coupon for an entree.

Hard Rock Cafe – Free dessert

Hometown Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!

Hooters – Free song & T-shirt (Pretty soon here I’m going to have an entire outfit!) If you live on the west coast, there’s even a Hooters Club for you to join up with.

Houlihan’s – Free coupon for an entree during your next visit up to a week after b-day (Kinda complicated…but free!)

Jack in the Box – They have a printable coupon for a free dessert valid only on your birthday.

Joe’s Crab Shack – Free cake if you join their club.

Juice It Up – They promise to give you a “birthday gift” but their website doesn’t say what it is. Might be worth signing up for though.

Keg Steakhouse and Bar – They’ll give you a 10 oz. prime rib dinner with Caesar salad during your birthday month, Sun-Thurs only. You might want to call ahead to confirm this though.

Keva – The Keva Klub promises free coupons around the time of your birthday.

Krispy Kreme – Free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it! You might want to sign up ahead of time.

Logan’s Roadhouse – Join their Nut Club and get a coupon for a free slice of cheesecake. Sometimes they’ll sing for you as well.

Macaroni Grill – Free dessert plus an OPERA-style “Happy Birthday” song, which is always…fun?

la Madeleine – Yet another on-line birthday club that will send you coupons for free food around your birthday.

Maggianos – $10 off purchase of $20 if you sign up in advance.

Mainstreet Ventures (Large chain of different restaurants, click to see if any are near you.) – Up to 50% off your meal. It’s based on the number of people in your party. For example, 2 people dining = 50% off. 3 People dining = 33% off, 4 people dining = 25%, etc.

Marble Slab Creamery – Kids can join the Marble Slab Kids Club and get a free ice cream cone on their birthday up to age 12.

Marie Calenders – Join their eClub and get free offers not only on your birthday, but anniversary as well!

Memphis BBQ – Coupon good for a free Rack of Ribs & strawberry shortcake, but you must sign up on their website 24 hours in advance.

Moe’s Southwest Grill – Signup for their newsletter and get a coupon for a free burrito. They also have a birthday club for kids under 10.

Mongolian’s B.B.Q. – Signup for their Club Mongo and you’ll get a coupon for a free birthday meal.

Noodles & Company – Signup for their newsletter and they’ll send ya a coupon for a free meal right around our birthday!

Not Your Average Joe’s – Sign up for their e-mail club and get a coupon sent to you for a free entree on your birthday!

O’Charley’s – Get $5 off any $20 food purchase.

Old Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!

Olive Garden – Free dessert if you sign up?

On The Border – Free appetizer if you sign up.

P.B. Loco – Sign up for their newsletters and you’ll receive coupons periodically for free stuff, as well as coupons for free stuff when your B-day rolls around.

P.F. Chang’s – Free cake or cheesecake via their e-mail list.

Papa Murphy’s – Sign up for their e-club and get a coupon for a free cookie dough on your birthday.

Perkin’s – Free bakery goodie on birthdays for kids under 12.

Ponderosa – No idea what the birthday freebie is, but they promise to send you something.

Qdoba Mexican Grill – Join their eClub and get a free burrito on your birthday, as well as free chips n’ salsa just for joining up..

Quizno’s – Join their mailing list and get a free cookie. You’ll also get a coupon for a free Sammie when you sign up.

Red Lobster – Their Overboard Club will send you a coupon for $5 off two adult entrees.

Red Robin – Free Hamburger if you sign up for Eclub.

Rock Bottom – Free appetizer for Mug Club members.

Round Table Pizza – Register with your local restaurant and get a coupon for a free personal pizza.

Ruby Tuesday – Sign up in advance and they’ll send you something!

Ryan’s – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!

San Francisco Over – Sign up in advance and you’ll get a coupon for a free birthday treat.

Schlotzsky’s – Get a free sandwich if you sign up ahead of time.

Smoky Bones – Members of the Bones Club get a free meal or appetizer, not sure which.

Spaghetti Warehouse – Signup for a free meal & possibly free appetizer?

Sonic – An advertising company for Sonic, they’ll send you coupons for free Sonic goodies if you sign up. Also, get a free Wacky Pack Kid’s Meal on children’s birthdays if you register here.

Souper Salad – Join their Souper Salad Club and they’ll e-mail you a coupon for one free birthday meal which can be used within a week or your birthday.

Starbucks – If you have a giftcard to their store, register it and receive a free coffee on your birthday. If you shop there often, it might be worth simply buying a card for yourself just to get the free coffee!

Swiss Chalet – Get a free appetizer just for joining the Rotisserie-mail plus a free birthday surprise.

Taco Del Mar – They sent me a coupon for a free Grilled Chicken Taco Salad that was valid for the month of my birthday.

Texas De Brazil – Sign up for their e-club and they’ll send you a $40 gift certificate! This place can be pricey, but it’s soooo worth it.

Texas Roadhouse – They send a coupon for one free appetizer or sidekick of ribs.

TGI Friday’s – Free birthday dessert plus free appetizer just for signing up!

The Fox and Hound – Free appetizer just for joining plus free entree on your birthday.

The Old Spaghetti Factory – Kids 12 and under get a free meal.

The Palm – 3lb lobster, but you must be a member first and follow a few rules.

Tony Roma’s – Free dessert if you sign up for Romo Rib Expert Club first.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – They’ll e-mail you a coupon for a free smoothie.

Uno’s Pizza – Sign up and get a free personal pizza on your birthday

Wendy’s – Free kids meal for the little ones and a free frosty for us adults.

Wingstop – Get 5 free buffalo wings on your birthday.

Zaxby’s – Join their Z-Mail club and you’ll get a coupon for a free meal, whether or not it’s your birthday! Kids can sign up here for their Kid Club and get not only a free meal, but a free cookie on their birthday!

Z’ Tejas – $15 coupon for the month of your birthday if you register first.

Birthday Party Planning Timeline

Countdown Calendar to Birthday Party- You can use this timeline as a rough guide for planning birthday parties.

About 2 months before the birthday party
Pick a Party Theme
Set a date
Make guest list
Schedule entertainment (In some communities it may be necessary to do this 3 or more months in advance)
Start shopping for party invitations (You could start with my advertisers 🙂
Learn to make balloon arches, if necessary

About a month before the birthday party
Start delivering invitations
Place a copy of your guest list by the phone to check-off the RSVP’s
Start shopping for birthday party favors
Start organizing birthday party games
Ask a helpful energetic person to help you keep kids wrangled during the party

Download 1-2 weeks before the party printable party planning checklist

About 2 weeks before the party

Double check that you have the supplies for each party game
Make a list of items you still need & go get them
Order a cake or practice your decorating skills if you plan to bake one

1 week before the party
Call any invitees who have not responded
Call the ones who have & tell them you’re looking forward to seeing them (child can do this)
Burn your party music onto a CD

Printable week-of the party checklist

About 2 days before the party
pick up whatever grocery items you’ll be needing. (You might want to plug in a camping fridge or put dry ice in a spare cooler to hold the excess)
Assemble the party favors and goody bags with your child
Make sure your camera batteries are charged and that you have a fresh tape in your camcorder
Start cooking whatever snacks and treats are necessary. Store carefully to keep them fresh
Bake the homemade cake

The day before the party
Clean the party area.
Hire a teenager or friend to help put the house back in order afterward
Put away items that may be dangerous or distracting.
Pick up the bakery cake or decorate the cake you made.
If ordering food such as pizza, call to arrange a delivery time.
If necessary, confirm with the entertainer and/or any helpers who you’ve asked to attend.
Sit down with your child and discuss his or her expectations for the next day.

Download the day of the party checklist

4-5 hours before the party
Set the table and decorate.
Put the candles on the cake and place matches in your pocket.
Get balloons filled/pick up pre-filled latex or Mylar balloons.
If you’re having the party at home, tie some balloons to the mailbox or the front porch to help mark the party location.
Place activity crates near the location where each party game or activity will take place
Locate paper and a pencil for recording gifts (for thank-you notes).

1 to 2 Hours Ahead
Put your pets away from the guest area
Get everyone dressed for the party
Set up the opening activity, letting your child help as much as possible.
Set up the food.

As guests arrive
Greet them, point out bathroom, food table, gift table and the opening activity table.

More Party Planning Worksheets help you choose activities, a party menu and make sure your party is organized

Print the after-party checklist to wrap up memory-making and make it special.

Free ebook for making fondant leaves & flowers

I have to share with you the free eBook I got from CleverDough Cakes. It’s the same Amanda that has the awesome funcakes ebook. This one has a great marshmallow fondant recipe that’s really silky and easy to work with. It also has less fat than my fondant recipe. It dries a bit faster, rips less and has a nice sheen to it, too.

In this eBook, she shows the recipe for her fondant with step-by-step photo instructions, plus a nice description of the tools she uses for each step. She makes several kinds of flowers, leaves, roses and sweet peas, plus a moulded chocolate bride & groom.

To download her ebook and subscribe to helpful newsletters, use the secure email form on the left side of the FunCakes screen (click here)

For another free cake decorating newsletter, check out the Cake Decorating Business newsletter

Free Cake Decorating Newsletter

When I first started looking around for cake decorating information, I joined a free newsletter that’s supposed to help you learn to be a professional cake decorator. It had tips on managing a cake decorating business and running a cake decorating company, but also plenty of practical tips and resources for decorating cakes.

I ended up buying their book

From their site, here are a few of the things they address in the book:

What are the legal ramifications of operating a food service business from home?
What are the best cake recipes?
How can I start with very little funds?
How can you build a portfolio of cake options to show clients when just starting out?
What kind of insurance do you need? How do you build a tiered cake?
What is the best way to make rolled fondant, buttercream, gum paste flowers?
Where will I find customers?!
What does a contract need to stipulate ?

The thing that “got me” though, was the unconditional 3 month money back guarantee. Who does that anymore, for an ebook, you know? I ended up NOT making a business of it, I’m just not cut out for that, but I did use the sample contracts and budget-analyzing forms to set a reasonable price for an order of 24 cupcakes for a friends shower and a cake for my husband’s boss. So The book paid for itself and I had a lot of fun decorating cakes (which I already do) Maybe when the kids
are grown I’ll get back in business. No one wants to buy a cake with pre-poked fingerprints 🙂

I still get the newsletter, it’s totally free. You should subscribe, too 🙂

You might also like the Free Fondant Flowers and Leaves eBook

Birthday Traditions

Birthday traditions are special in our house. We have a few birthday traditions that the kids love, they look forward to them all year long.

Birthday Poster
My 13 yr old feels that it’s very important that everyone wakes up to a decorated house on their birthday, so she makes a birthday poster and hangs streamers for everyone on their birthday. I was very touched this year when my 9 yr old made a poster for HER when her birthday came. We leave it up for a ong time, usually until the next birthday comes. With this many kids in the house, there’s always another one just around the corner. stays up late

Birthday Dinner
The birthday girl gets to choose what we have for dinner. Anything they want, really. It’s usually pizza or macaroni & cheese, but we’ve had meatloaf, fried chicken, grilled cheese and even TV dinners. One year, we allowed them to choose a restaurant and we ate out for everyone’s birthday but with 6 kids it was a bit much. Our birthdays are November, November, December, December, August & April, so it gets a bit tight at the end of the year with 4 kid birthdays and winter holidays to shop for.

Birthday Cake (or not)
If they choose a dessert other than cake, we stick candles in it. We’ve sung happy birthday over apple pie and pumpkin pie before. I recently wrote about the cupcakes my 4 yr old chose for her birthday, they were decorated in pink fondant with pink frosting stars and pink marshmallows. We’ve also had fudge, brownies and even popsicles.

Birthday Letter
I got this idea from MyDigitalDilemma.com, on January 1st they posted a form-love-letter to fill out for your kids. What a sweet tradition. I know some people, like Heather (what’s-her-last-name?) from Dooce.com posts one to her daughter every month on her website. I like an annual letter, since birthdays always make me think of how much the kids have grown and changed over the years.

So, what birthday traditions do you have?

1st Birthday Party

First birthday parties can be so much fun. Tori Spelling’s daughter recently turned one. Stella had a Ladybug themed birthday party.

“Stella was clapping her hands and enjoying the music,” says a guest of the birthday girl, who wore a white silk dress decorated with ladybugs and red patent-leather shoes from Sweet Shoes. “And Tori and Liam were singing along to the songs.” When it was time to cut the giant ladybug-shaped cake, Stella first carefully dipped a finger in the red frosting before rolling over and laying down in the middle of the cake, covering herself in frosting from top to toe.”

Another celebrity baby that recently celebrated a first birthday is little Blakesley, daughter of Trista & Ryan from The Bachelorette

“Blakesley’s first year has been the best year of my life. It is definitely more hectic, but that’s the nature of it all…add another person, albeit tiny, to the mix and the juggling act gets a bit more chaotic. I do have to say that even though it is a bit harder, it is also more filled with love and laughter, and for that, it is worth it…a million times over!”

Blakesley had an Alice in Wonderland birthday Theme for her 1st birthday party.

Recently, on Yahoo Answers, a mother asked for help planning her daughter’s 1st birthday party. Stayathomemom.com said:

She is one. She is really not going to remember what you give her. The important thing is the tactile experience – what she can put her hands on. If you are going to have a cake that you want other people to actually eat then have that one but also make her a little cake that she can blow out the candle and actually mess with if she wants to. My mom did this for my kids on their first birthday and it was great because invariably little hands went into the frosting and you really don’t want to be saying NOOOOO to a the little darling on their big day.

As far as gifts don’t splurge. The most important thing for them is the unwrapping. Make the unwrapping of the present just as fun as the actual gift. Bright shiny paper and a pretty bow that she can put on top of her head make for great pictures.

She is not going to remember that day when she is older but she will love the pictures you take. If you teach kids early that it is not about the stuff but more about the experience you will be helping them out in the long run.

One of my girlfriends, who has a huge extended family, always had big family parties for the kids birthdays. The relatives all got together and played music and brought potluck dinner and there was lots of laughing and great pictures.

For your older daughter too – it is not so much about the actual gift but instead that during a very busy holiday season she is important enough to have a special day just for her. A birthday celebration for a December baby can be very important. And this birthday is definitely not about the gifts (because by June it will be a blur and she may not be able to remember if she got that one gift for Christmas or her birthday) but she will remember that you made time for her to have a special day celebrating her.

Whatever you do have a super fun birthday day. Its a very special time.

Which was refreshing amidst the other responses.

You may also like:
Our favorite baby girl birthday gifts
Teddy bear birthday parties

Storing Birthday Party Stuff

We buy party supplies and other birthday party stuff on clearance all year long, but if I don’t watch it, we’ll end up using it before the next birthday. We had some Cinderella napkins that I got for ten cents, with the intention of using them for birthdays. I should have saved them, but the kids were so excited to see them that I ended up using them just to use.

That was nice and all, I don’t regret it, we just ended up getting more and it wasn’t a big deal, but if I let that happen all the time, then having the printed napkins at the party wouldn’t be very exciting. They’d be jaded.

Where to put the Birthday Party Stuff?

So I have a box in my laundry room, a rubbermaid storage box where I toss birthday party stuff. Halloween was about 2 weeks ago and I just got a a TON of candy that we can use in pinatas, for a very very low price. I also got a bunch of colored frosting tubes. They’re in a 4 pack of green, orange, purple and black so I doubt all 4 of them would be used at once, but every little bit counts, especially when you consider that the original price was 5.99 and I paid 32 cents.

Be sure to check out some of my sponsors for discount birthday party stuff for every party theme you can imagine.

Xmas Party Ideas for Kids

If you’re planning a kids Xmas Party, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got Xmas party invitations, decorations, foods and beverages as well as xmas party games and even music. Here are a few ideas for planning a xmas party

Xmas Party Invitations

– Use green construction paper to make an xmas tree invitation that opens in the center. Just fold a piece of construction paper in half, then open it up and fold each half inward. Lay a Christmas tree stencil on top of the paper or draw your own
– Make a snowman invitation by cutting a snowman from card stock and writing the pertinent party information on the backside.
– Make a Christmas stocking with a real pocket that opens. Write the party info on a cut-out candy cane and stick it in the pocket for a 3d xmas party invitation

Xmas Party Decorations

– Soak horse chestnuts in water and string them up for an old-fashioned nut garland.
– collect fresh scented pine branches and needles from the Xmas tree lot and use them in potpourri blends or sprinkle them on the tables for decoration
– Re-purpose tree decorations to make an Xmas centerpiece
– Remove all the pictures from your walls and wrap them in gift wrap, with a ribbon.
– use twinkling white lights as interior decor, not just on the tree, for a magical feel.

For more artsy Xmas activities, check ArtsyFartsyFamily.com

Xmas Party Foods

– Christmas sugar cookies make excellent party decor
– Star fruit looks pretty and Christmas-y, if you have access to it.
– Divinity or Russian Tea Cakes look like snowballs
– A sprig of rosemary on top of savory dishes looks Christmas-y, especially when paired with fresh cranberries
– Traditional holiday foods like Turkey and stuffing are favorites during the holidays. Serve them at your Xmas party to share the seasonw ith everyone

Xmas Party Games

– A marshmallow snowball fight is fun for kids and grown-ups.
– Have a build-an-igloo contest with toothpicks and marshmallows. Kids can work in teams or individually
– A pin-the-star-on-the-tree poster makes a fun game for smaller kids

Xmas Party Good Deeds

– Consider asking each guest to bring a gift for a family you’re sponsoring
– A white-elephant gift exchange is also fun. Make sure each guest brings something they already have at home, or something that costs less than $5

Planning a German party for Kids

German party food

German party food

If you’re looking for a great Oktoberfest party resource, check out Oktoberfest, Germany for Kids. A German themed party might not be for every kid, in fact the article was written about planning an Oktoberfest celebration for homeschoolers or classrooms, to teach kids about Germany. Still, it’s an interesting read. Some people associate Oktoberfest with beer, but Germany is a fascinating country and kids can learn about it by examining Oktoberfest, one of Germany’s biggest celebrations, at their own German themed birthday party.