16 December 2008

Christmas Party

After my hubby's father passed away in early December, our idea for an elaborate Christmas Party morphed into a relaxed "thanksgiving" BBQ with friends and neighbours at a slightly later date...

The prep was actually the most relaxed of any event I've done lately. We even sat and had Scottish kippers, Pork pies and shandys for lunch under the grapevine to the sound of Christmas carols...

There were lights to hang, outdoor furniture to scrub, a Tree to get and decorate...

Hubby brought home a live pine tree (mmm!) which we set up outside. The kids went crazy tree decorating it with home-made decorations and rejects from the "grown-ups tree" inside. I just let them go for it, and they had a great time.

Thanksgiving Tree
When Miss Fab had her leg in a cast, we had spent a morning recycling old Christmas cards into "Thanksgiving Ornaments", which we set up in a basket next to the pine tree.

Miss Fab cut out christmas pictures from the cards and I clipped on some curling ribbon. The idea: Take a card from the basket and write on the back something you're thankful for this year, then tie it on the tree. It was lovely reading what people had written.

Family Fundraising Project
Also I quickly painted up a sign to show what the kids had managed to raise through their Christmas project efforts: $392. Not too shabby!

Catering was almost non-existant, just a very relaxed "bring food to share" kind of BBQ, with the five families who could still make the new date.

Mr G wasn't quite up to being Santa yet, so his mate Stu stepped up. Bless Him! We weren't sure where this Santa's accent was from??!! and his wig kept slipping into his eyes, and his belt kept falling off... Sorry no photos; too busy filming (and laughing). Poor Stuey. He definitely gave it 100%!

The little girls had great fun with the face paint and hair mascara ( left over from the many birthdays - it pays to have a ready supply!); thanks to the mummies who painted the cute Christmas faces!

There was backyard cricket and soccer, trampolining, trike-riding and some basketball... plus eating... drinking... eating... drinking...

Two fun-loving families got their kids all gussied up in Christmas theme. The "star" attraction was 1-year-old Immy - dressed as a star, in a super-cute costume her clever daddy had made for their church Christmas Production.

The families who dressed up also happened to be the long-stayers, so I pulled out the prizes I'd put together long ago when the Party was going to be a big deal: Some Cadbury Favourites and one of my Christmas Mix CDs.

They were all most excited and said they were hoping the prize would be one of my CDs... which is why they'd bothered dressing up. I have to say, the Christmas CDs you get in the stores have a pretty pathetic mix of songs; I like my own much better!

The food highlight of the night was definitely Gail's Outrageous Toffee Pecan Pudding (click here for the recipe) My humble offering was my very easy, but yummy Cheats' Christmas Trifle. I will put the recipe below, for those who were asking...

When the sun began to set the lights looked fantastic. One of the six-year-old guests sat gazing at the twinkling colours and then turned and said to me, "Simone I think the lights are fascinating..." Bless!

After everyone had left, me and Mr G made a half-hearted attempt at tidying up, sat for five minutes outside watching the lights with a glass of wine, and then dragged our aching bodies off to bed.

{In retrospect it may have been a bit much too soon. But we did it. At least we did it.}

The Ghosts of Christmas Parties Past...

Mr G stars as Santa... he turns up on a bicycle decorated with tinsel, carrying a sack full of sweets for a lolly scramble, races, the Statues Game and whatever else he comes up with off the top of his head. He speaks in a deep booming voice and says ho-ho-ho a lot. He's a brilliant Santa. Brilliant. Smart-alec kids whisper to me: "I know who that is, it's Dash's dad!!!" Ahhh you can't put anything past kids these days.

Another time we staged an impromptu show to the beautiful Nativity Story, "Room for a Little One". I collected beards, hats and masks for each creature in the story and Mr G (Santa) picked the parts and read out the story while the kids and parents acted it out. It was priceless. Kind Ox, Old Dog, Stray Cat, Small Mouse and Tired Donkey all made room for a Little One in our backyard.

(Click here for the interactive Book on Amazon; Best Christmas story ever)

Easy Peasy Christmas Trifle


1 medium unfilled trifle from the supermarket
2 cups of frozen or fresh berries
2 packets of raspberry jelly, dissolved in 3 cups of boiling water
1ltr packet of Meadowfresh custard
1 250ml bottle of whipping cream
1 Cadbury flake bar

(You do the first bit of this trifle the day before you want to eat it, so the jelly can set)

Chop up the sponge cake into chunks and place in a large, deep serving bowl.
Mix the (defrosted) berries through, then pour over the jelly mixture. Leave to cool then place in fridge to set.
The next day pour in the custard over the sponge/jelly mixture. Use the whole packet. Before serving, whip the cream with a little bit of icing sugar, and spread in a thick layer over the custard. Crumble up the flake bar and sprinkle over the top.

(My favourite breakfast food on Boxing Day is leftover trifle... aren't I sad??)

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1 comment:

Sophie said...

It sounds like a lovely afternoon! Well done!

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