I'm a bit late in my recap here, but I haven't been looking forward to this post, because I completely forgot to take pictures of the set up before everyone arrived. :( My sister arrived early with my nephew and then we were totally consumed with playing with him, photos were the last thing on my mind. But it is what it is and I'm sure you forgive me, so we'll move on. (You can see the prep post here)
This year was extremely similar to last year with a few slight changes. One change we did was I had enough seating in the dining/living room for everyone to eat lunch. This kept the kitchen clear for a small buffet line table and the rest was reserved so we could get the cookies started right away. Here is the set up broken down by room and was how I had it just prior to everyone arriving.
Dining Room/Living Room Set Up:
- Put both leaves in the dining table to maximize seating there
- Set up one 6 foot folding table with folding chairs for the little kids
- Decor was simple- just used what I already have on the table for the holidays
- Tablecloths were simple white paper ones to make cleaning up easy...I am 35 weeks pregnant, gotta take breaks where I can!
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and ingredients for frosting and baking mat, roller, cookie sheets and cooling racks out on the counter ready for cookie prep
- Eat in kitchen table set up with plastic tablecloth (kids are messy when dealing with sprinkles and frosting!)
- Plastic plates to decorate the cookies on were on the table along with all the containers of sprinkles
- New for this year, we had a 4 foot table that has adjustable heights- we chose the highest which is counter height- for the buffet table. Deli Sandwich and Salad Bar along with Mac & Cheese bites in a chafing dish.
This was after all the cookies were rolled, but you can see where the cookie/frosting prep was and then the kids were able to just circle around the kitchen table to decorate. The non-cookie prepping adults were all comfortable in the family room :)
Sadly, this is the best shot I have for you of the buffet table. The chafing dish (since it was still hot) is still there, but believe me, the mac & cheese is long gone! Then we just set the plates of finished cookies there. But just imagine a really lovely spread of fresh turkey, ham, cheese, lettuce and bread on the left and all the fixings for salads on the right. Drinks were on our small section of the counter next to the fridge.
See the need for a PLASTIC tablecloth here folks? That's a lot of frosting and sprinkles people. I love these messy kids!
And this is what happens when you decide to host a party for 10 adults and 10 kids when you are in the home stretch of making your own kid. After about 8 hours of being on my feet, I relaxed the rest of the time with a glass of water, which I'm fairly certain all of it made it's way to my ankles a few hours later...oops.
Overall, another raving success! I'm trying to imagine how difficult it will be next year with an 11 month old in the mix, but we'll see when we get there. As chaotic as it might sound/look, I promise it really wasn't. We had such a good time, and I really am looking forward to next year. If you didn't have time to organize a Christmas Cookie party, why not start planning one for Valentine's day? Some cute heart shaped cookies would be adorable!!