Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jammy Cocoa Christmas Party 2017

This past Saturday was my family's Jammy Cocoa Christmas Party. It was a quieter party this year, but it was still so much fun! I love gathering with my favorite people to celebrate Christmas! I blogged about our Jammy Cocoa Christmas Party last year. You can find that post HERE. We didn't do anything crazy different this year but I thought I would share it again!

For starters, we ask everyone to come in their Christmas jammies. When we hosted this party a few years ago, people were super skeptical. The kids all came in PJ's but the adults came is regular clothing. I am so proud to say that we have converted them all! Everyone comes in PJ's and I love it! We start the party every year at 6:30pm, so people eat dinner before they come then at the party we only serve dessert (hot chocolate and doughnuts). This feels like a major win in many ways - prepping a meal for a large number of people is hard and with Christmas quickly approaching, that is exactly what I wanted to avoid! Yes, making the doughnuts and hot chocolate requires time, but I think it's easier for my family to prepare than making a full meal.

This is before the crazy. Let me tell you, the table does not stay in this state all night - it gets messy! I snapped all of these pictures before we let our guests loose on the hot chocolate and doughnut bar. As you can see, one side of the table is the hot chocolate bar and the other is the doughnut bar. Easy and the flow works well.

We bough those little plastic cups years ago (I don't even know where!) but they work so well every year! We fill each cup with toppings (crushed candy canes, toffee, crushed peanuts, crushed oreo, mini M&M's...) and I used my cricut to make a little label for each cup. At the start of the hot chocolate bar, we set out caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, marshmallows and whipped cream.

We keep a large pot on low full of hot chocolate (last year we used the crockpot!). As guests arrive, we fill a mug of hot cocoa for them and direct them towards the table to dress their drink. This party is a mix of family friends, my friends and the Bean's friends, so as people are arriving we usually have a couple of us greeting and the other two handling hot chocolate distribution. It's a rush at first but once people have their hot chocolate it really settles down and we get to sit down and join in on the fun! The set up of the doughnut/hot chocolate bar provides for a very low maintenance environment.

On the back side of the table, is the doughnut bar! We line a basket with a Christmas tea towel and will it with doughnuts - sometimes we fill 2! It really depends how many people are coming to the party! This year, we had one basket of regular doughnuts, a bowl of doughnut holes, then a little plate of gluten free doughnuts! You can find my family's doughnut recipe HERE.

Next to the doughnuts, we set up the dipping sugars! We set out regular granulated sugar, cocoa sugar and cinnamon sugar. The first year we had this party, we set out powdered sugar (my personal favorite dipping sugar!) but that was the biggest mess ever! We had powdered sugar everywhere for way too long, so we've adjusted in the last few years!
Blurriest picture ever, I know! But one of the new elements at this year's party was the photo booth! This was a total last minute addition. In fact, it went up mid party! :) We've had the Christmas photo booth props for years but my friends and I put the background up part way through the party! I cut some wrapping paper and sticky-tacked it to the wall - easy and surprisingly cute!
Remember earlier in this post, I said it gets messy - here you go! We found a couple plates like this on our table at the end of the night and of course one of them was made by the Bean! YOu better believe she leads all of the crazy candy forces!

And that's it! Christmas fun was had by all and I am already really looking forward to our Christmas party next year! It's one of the best nights of the year!

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