You want to believe the holidays are the most magical time of the year, but they're often the most stressful. There are gifts to buy, trees to decorate, cookies to bake, and, somehow, a budget to maintain. Oh, and a kids' Christmas party to throw!
Luckily, professional organizer Michaela Santen of Simple Sweep shares her no-fail tips for hosting a successful kids’ Christmas party so you won’t break the bank or lose your sanity.
Kids’ Christmas Party Ideas
The best kids’ Christmas party ideas have two criteria: minimal stress for you and maximum enjoyment for the kids.
"I keep it simple and create a theme with just one color," Santen explains. "A great holiday theme is a Winter Wonderland party. It's easy and inexpensive to decorate for this party - it's all white!"
For decorations, you’ll need:
- White Christmas lights
- Clear vases
- White balloons
- White streamers
"Fill the vases with white Christmas lights and place them throughout your home," she recommends. "Either blow up the balloons yourself to cover the floor or get helium balloons that float on the ceiling. Tape white streamers to the ceiling so they hang over the children's heads. Everything is all white with twinkling lights, and it's a lot of fun!"
Kids’ Christmas Party Games & Activities
With organization and advanced planning, the kids will have a blast.
The perfect Christmas party game is a candy cane hunt throughout your home. For younger kids, place candy canes in low, easy-to-find locations, but older kids must search harder and look higher.
When it comes to activities, keep it simple. Younger children can decorate a gingerbread house or holiday cookies, while older children can transform a white T-shirt into a holiday theme and have their friends sign it.
"Cover the activity table with butcher block paper first," Santen advises. "They can get it as messy as they'd like, and at the end, you just roll it up and throw it away. Then, create a station for each child. For younger kids give each one a small paint palette filled with pieces of candy and other decorations. Put the icing in condiment squeeze bottles, and place them at the end of the table. For t-shirts, purchase puffy paints, metallic permanent markers, and cardboard for between the shirt."
Kids’ Christmas Party Food
One of the biggest stressors for a kids' Christmas party is the food. It gets everywhere!
Create a food station where kids can serve themselves throughout the party. Serve food that matches your theme, such as popcorn, white M&Ms, yogurt-covered pretzels and white chocolate chips.
"Give each kid a personalized, reusable Chinese food container," says Santen. "Put the food in large bowls, and place a scoop in each one. For drinks, write their names on the cups in advance or buy personalized water bottles. Having their own containers eliminates a lot of the mess."
If you plan to serve a cake and/or pizza, do so during the last 30 minutes of the party.
Christmas Party Favors
The party favors are given throughout the party - no need to buy more! Guests will go home with their personalized Chinese food containers and water bottles, their decorated activity and a balloon.
Send out invites one month in advance and allow people two weeks to RSVP, giving you enough time to buy everything you need:
- Personalized food containers and water bottles
- Food and drinks
- Balloons, vases, streamers
- Activity supplies and containers
- large bowls, scoopers, and pitchers, if you need more
- Trash cans for each station
- Butcher block paper
Organization = Stress-Free Cleanup
By keeping everything organized, your cleanup will be quick and simple.
"Just like keeping an organized home, when you are hosting a party you have to work at it throughout the party," Santen advises. "I'm not hovering, but I am cleaning throughout the whole party. I'm not just leaving everything for the very end."
One last tip: Place a wardrobe rack near your front door and make sure you have enough hangers. This way, everyone has a place for their coats and handbags. "It's an easy in and out for everyone. They know exactly what to do."