This great winter brunch theme has become a tradition! What makes an event transition from a “thing you do” into a tradition? Our Snowball Brunch has been happening for four years now and I don’t see an end coming to this yearly event anytime soon so it is most certainly a tradition.
the Celebration’s Goal
If you know me by now, you know, I like to live on purpose and think things through that I invest time in. From the beginning, I hoped to consistently bring my sweet God-children and their mothers together with the women that I intentionally chose to be my daughter’s two God-mothers during the Advent season. I desired it to be a time of fellowship and time for the moms young and “experienced” to share Godly mothering advice and stories.
We have called it the “Snowball Brunch” since the beginning mostly because I like alliterations so “ball-brunch” and it was a cute kid name. Who would have guessed that it was also a theme to a party that I could easily go overboard with. It has gotten to the point that my 8 year old daughter and I seek clever new ways to do “snowball” all year long. I love that it is a party that my daughter and I co-host. She helps me plan it in every way from shopping to ideas to setting the table.
Every good party theme starts with an invitation. These are the last two years of invitations and you can see just how much a snowball or falling snow really look a lot like pock-a-dots. Since everyone being invited to this event knows very well where we live, I don’t even need to include our address but if you are planning a celebration remember the important information you need on an invitation.
Information to include on invitations:
- The host or hosts of the event
- The date (I like to include the day of the week and the day of the month)
- The time (some parties warrant start and end times, some just start times)
- The place or address where it will be held
- A way to RSVP (do you prefer text or email)
- Any requests for special parking, a dish to bring, dress for event, theme, etc.
I also did a “Save the date” TEXT message in November using cute snowman and snowflake emojis. I didn’t have time to get the invitations out earlier and then it only added to the anticipation to get the paper invite in the mail later.
More and more invitations to events have become mass emails, facebook events and text messages. I don’t think there will ever come a time that I don’t enjoy opening an envelope and holding the thick soft paper of an invitation to a special event in my hand and anticipating the occasion to come. There most certainly are times that social media and texting are the most appropriate way to invite, in fact I just did that very thing for the Gift Wrap Gather this year- but if at all possible consider mailing a paper invite.
Celebration Planning includes:
- Purpose of the event
I spent the big investment of my decorating time this year on painting an old radio flyer sled we found in the trash (people send WAY too much good stuff to the landfills each year…soapbox.) I painted it a beautiful Key West Blue by General Finishes– it is a chalk paint and I just slapped two coats on the sled. Since we were sitting at a long table, I placed the sled down the middle of the table with a snowman, snowballs and snowflakes scattered on it. I also grounded it with some of that cottony fake snow rolled out. Today the sled is living on the hearth of our covered outdoor fireplace as a “winter” decoration and I LOVE THE COLOR!
We welcomed our guests by adding to our normal Christmas wreath on the front door- a chalk board sign that read, “It may be raining outside…but it is only SNOWING inside the annual Snowball Brunch.” You will see I do this often- just adding something to our normal wreath to change for the season or a special event.
One of my favorite new ideas for the table display came from my friend Marissa at Squirrels of a Feather. She created an adorable snowman out of a trio of Ikea baskets. I love the wealth of inspiration you can find online these days. For the sake of time, I had to really simplify Marissa’s idea and loosely stacked the baskets for easy disassembly to become a packed-up-gift for the moms to take home.
A cutie that “B” and I stumbled across was the “Melty Snowman” which you can get on Amazon. It is actually white ‘silly putty’ that you form into a snowman and add the plastic hat, eyes, scarf, arms, and nose to and then it slowly melts. It was something fun for the preschoolers to watch while they tried to stay focused and eat their meal. It was cute that the yogurt sundaes we served with chocolate chips actually looked like a melted “melty snowman”- helping at least one little one to eat the yogurt, bonus. ⬇️
For some reason (sometimes I get stuck on an idea,) I ran around to several stores looking for red knit kid mittens because I just thought it would be cute to stuff the silverware in a red mitten at each table setting. We then had enough for each kiddo to take a pair home since there was the mate at each adult’s spot.
Pom-poms are such fun mini snowballs or maxi snowflakes so we used them in garlands and tossed on the table. White paper party ‘balls’ also form great snowman like we placed in our chandelier. It was so light-weight that it could easily just sit up there. Over the years I have found fake snowballs on sale at the end of the season so those come out each year for the brunch and are a fun thing for the littles to toss around. I believe in “sprinkle”, always have a sprinkle : ) and we re-use small plastic snowflake confetti tossed all over the table too.
We strive to keep a balance of adult yummies and food the little guys will eat so we made “snowball-pull-apart” bread (aka Monkey Bread), Applesauce & Yogurt Sundaes, Crockpot Mac and Cheese, Tater-Tot Egg Casserole, fruit, salad, ham and Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer Punch. At this point in my life, I’m not all about the food, I strive to do enough prep and store-bought not to make it stressful on myself. If you love to cook, by all means share your gifts in this area!
When browsing at Target this Christmas I found an adorable painted wooden peg-people nativity set. This is a similar one on Etsy. It was the perfect “play set” for kids to use year after year. I remembered a time that Gladys at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) demonstrated the nativity story using felt figures and moved them around the floor. I figured “B” and I juggle this story-telling as a team using this peg-people nativity set and then we gave each family a set to take home. We did this after everyone had eaten but before the sugar kicked in and the kids just ran around playing.
the Favors or Gifts
Since these are dear friends that attend this party and the favors are also more like Christmas gifts, we gave the moms the Ikea basket snowmen (link) and devotionals called Unshakeable: 365 Devotions Finding Unwavering Strength in God’s Word. We gave the sweet little kids the peg-people nativity sets and grace-dice, to roll a different blessing before dinner each night. And last but not least, we also made snow globes for each young guest. It was “B’s” idea and we had many trial runs before we figured out lots of small bottle brush trees bleed their green into the water… We used directions from Squirrels of a Feather for this project too- the Winter Glitter Calming Bottle craft. Thanks Marissa for the great ideas!
The SnowBall Brunch is a tradition that will continue for years to come! Will these sweet little kids still want to come when they are in elementary school or even high school? I know from my oldest two, it happens in a blink so celebrate the little times!