We have a Christmas tradition of hosting two of our friends for a little holiday party to kick off the Christmas season. I pick a different theme every year and this time we went with Little House on the Prairie because my daughter has been reading the series non-stop this year so I knew she’d go wild for the chance to be Laura. I did try to buy the kids costumes to wear for the party from Amazon but sadly they were lost in the mail and never arrived. Luckily our friends had an extra bonnet and we made do with what we had.
I usually go a little overboard for this party as far as theming goes just because I like to have a good time with it (example: our Mod 1960’s Christmas) but when I read the Christmas scenes in the books for inspiration I was struck by how simple their happy Christmases were and it made me want to go for cozy instead of crazy. In fact, the only thing I bought specifically for the party was this cute little tree from Target.
I actually reused some packing paper from Amazon packages for our star and snowflake garlands and used more of that paper for our “tablecloth” because I had a messy craft planned after dinner. I also tacked up a handmade quilt that my husband’s parents gave us when we got married and turned virtual fireplaces on at our computer station, since it was serving as the food station for the night.
The food was simple. We went with a breakfast-for-dinner theme since I didn’t think the kids would make pioneer things like stew or rye bread if I made it. We had biscuits, sausage, hard boiled eggs, country potatoes, stewed apples, and some old-fashioned donuts for dessert. There were also cookies on the table using one of Ma’s recipes from the books but they didn’t taste all that great so they ended up being more decorative than anything else. It didn’t matter – the kids were totally happy.
Our little craft was one of those better-in-theory ideas that probably would have been wonderful for older kids. I figured we could a twist on gingerbread houses and make gingerbread log cabins using pretzel sticks like this:
To make it easier for the kids, I had my husband construct four cardboard houses so they could just stick the pretzels on and then make doors and windows out of graham crackers. The problem was that the pattern I gave him made huge houses because in my head I was thinking that would be easier and it was really overwhelming. I also definitely overestimated how easily they’d be able to figure out the frosting + pretzel = cabin equation.
The good news is that they had a great time anyway getting everything in the world sticky since the table was full of frosting and pretzel and candies. The bad news is that cabin fatigue set in pretty quickly and nobody really finished theirs. To be honest, I did the fourth one since the baby wasn’t interested (the model I pictured above) and I only did two sides before I got bored and gave it up so it’s strategically displayed at the moment, ha ha.
After the cabin making, we relaxed and visited while the kids played and it all ended up being a nice, cozy, sugar-laced evening to start off December. I love these little pioneers.