Through a convoluted series of events, I ended up planning the ward Christmas party that took place last night. Twice. Thankfully I had to execute only one of these plans, the second one and with lots and lots of help. The first one was vetoed by people who, I think, weren't too sure the food would be satisfying. Whatever, I am not going to get all offended by that. I still think it was an awesome plan, so I'm going to post both here fore the benefit of others who may be looking for ideas. I found a dearth of simple, doable ideas when I was searching online, and you know, I always like to share my outstanding ideas.
Ward Christmas Party Plan 1: All On a Christmas Morning
Decor: stock Christmas items (garland, poinsettias) from closet; plastic tablecloths; red and green balloons in a row lengthwise down the center of each rectangular table. Each balloon has candy inside and is tied to a wooden skewer to avoid having to use helium. Skewers are anchored in long boards from quilt frames or other drilled boards placed under the plastic-sheeting tablecloths.
Food: Breakfast for dinner - cinnamon rolls made by YW; breakfast casseroles made by RS; fruit salad; juice and milk; hot cocoa bar with marshmallows and candy canes
Activities: Devotional from bishop, followed by food. After eating, children get to pop the balloons and keep the candy. Ward members may choose to come in pajamas and participate in a PJ fashion show. Prizes awarded for best adult, best teen, best child, and best family PJs. Carol singing with pre-designated leader and pianist. Visit from Santa Claus in foyer with photographer on hand.
Ward Christmas Party Plan 2: Together at Christmas
Decor: stock Christmas items (garland, poinsettias) from closet; plastic tablecloths; artificial tree; runner for serving table only. One poinsettia on each dining table.
Food: Prime rib with jus and horseradish cream sauce (cooked by culinary wizard ward member); garlic mashed potatoes and raspberry-pretzel jello salad (prepared by RS members from distributed recipes); green beans cooked from frozen in church kitchen. Candy-cane cakes prepared by RS presidency (purchased angel food cakes covered with whipped cream and crushed candy canes).
Activities: Devotional from bishop, followed by dinner. After eating, slide show of ward activities from the year just passed, with Christmas music. Then, decorating graham-cracker gingerbread houses pre-assembled (this could be done by the Primary, but in our case was done by the RS presidency). We made 25 graham cracker houses to be decorated by about 125 people. Families and friends worked in teams. As this winds down, start carol singing with pre-designated leader and pianist. Focus on kids' favorite Christmas songs - often the secular ones they learn in school, because this is about fun! Visit from Santa Claus in foyer with photographer on hand.