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Christmas is party season! From children’s parties at school and clubs to grown up work dos- there are lots of them. While we’ve been enjoying these parties with our friends, one of my favourite types of party over the holidays is the Family Christmas Party.
We have quite a few of these around Nanny’s house from now until the New Year and it is always great to have all the family together for such a fun, relaxed get-together.
At the weekend after a fun but tiring morning spent ice skating, we all felt in the mood for a little family party and the great thing about them is they are so easy to quickly shop for and put together.
As well as the party food you can also pick up other essentials you will need for your party, a Christmas CD, DVD, party board game and even decorations if you haven’t got them up already. Living in a rural place with very little choice for shops we are so grateful when we can pick everything up in our local Tesco Extra.
We found the CDs and DVDs on the second floor in the entertainment section. There are seasonal sections but also remember to check the charts too as these will often contain a Christmas option or two. The board games were on the first floor in the toy department.
Of course, we already have Christmas CDs, DVDs and board games at home but a new one is such a treat. We let the kids choose a new Christmas DVD and I chose the new board game as I’ve wanted our own traditional version of Monopoly for a long time as we love playing it at Mum’s house.
Everyone has a favourite party food that they are hoping to spot on the buffet table, whether it be sausage rolls or scotch eggs. I tried to make sure I had at least one of everyone’s favourite but then tried to keep it simple and the amount of food down. I left out pizza, quiche and vol au vents but we still ended up with so much food.
Dave got in the kitchen cooking the”hot food”, veggy sausage rolls,chicken and savoury snacks etc. The kids and I set everything up and prepared the cold foods such as cheese and pineapple (so old school but I love them). My kids love preparing food like this with me and it really helps.
Under supervision kids can: put crisps in bowls, put sweets out, put together the cheese and pineapple, fold serviettes and put on plates and help make drinks.
Finger foods work best. I used to serve a salad but you need to sit down with cutlery to eat it so we find cherry tomatoes, grapes and vegetable crudites are easier.
There also must be jars of pickles- it’s not Christmas without a pickled onion!
A classic Christmas party drink for me is Babycham! It’s not to everyone’s taste but for those who do enjoy this retro tipple make sure it is served with a cherry (and if possible in a Babycham Glass- thanks for the loan Mum!).
These super cute retro glasses can still be sourced in second hand shops and on ebay- I love them.
The kids drinks can be served with a cherry, lemon or candy cane to dress them up too.
I didn’t pick up a new CD as I have a box full of Christmas CDs (my excuse is I needed every Christmas song recorded for putting on plays when I was teaching!).
Stick on some Christmas songs using whichever method you prefer and the mood instantly feels full of festive cheer.
(Me and the kids do find ourselves singing along rather too enthusiastically to all the Christmas songs on in the shops at the moment!).
The kids had a dance in the living room. At Mum’s house the “dance floor” is always in her hallway.
I love having time to play games as a family. Over the years I have tried and failed to have a weekly family game night. Because we can’t manage it weekly, I always make time in each school holiday to play some board games with the kids. They play them lots on their own too. At Christmastime, board games come into their own.
Get out the bowl of sweets, fill up the drinks, roll the die and you’re ready to play!
Top tip: Keep one adult spare to look after the younger kids. Get out Christmas colouring in or play building blocks to amuse them or you’ll end up with the game pieces everywhere.
If you have a cat, beware, they will also love to sit on the board game and move all the pieces around too (the saying never work with animals or children could apply well for board games also!).
The Christmas Film
Oh, the huge benefits of a family Christmas party are you can get your reindeer onesie on and cosy up and watch a Christmas film together at the end. At mums house, it is a recent a tradition to always take a Christmas PJ’s Group Selfie at the end of Christmas Day when we all get cosy and watch Christmas TV.
The adults get to relax and the kids get to calm down. I prefer classic Christmas films with a goodwill message but my kids chose the a funny, crazy film “Free birds”. I managed to stay awake so it can’t have been that bad!
Flavour your popcorn with vanilla or caramel for a seasonal taste, sit back and enjoy the feature!
Younger kids may drop off towards the end of the film. Older kids who stay awake can have a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.
Adults could have a similar nightcap and add Irish Cream if desired. We had these last year decorated with candy canes.
Do you love family Christmas parties? Which is your favourite board game to play?