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How to host a tree-trimming party

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Deck the halls

What better way is there to kick off the holiday season than an old-fashioned tree-trimming party? Heat up the cocoa, put on some of your favorite Christmas jams and invite your friends for a fun-filled afternoon of Christmas cheer!

Young girl decorating a Christams tree

1Make your own invitations

Your little ones will love getting into the holiday spirit as you plan your tree-trimming party. In this modern age of Evites and text messages, there's nothing more delightful than receiving a homemade card in the mail. How about spending an afternoon making handmade invitations as a family? Cut Christmas trees out of green construction paper and let your kids decorate each one with crayons, glitter, sequins and ribbons.

2Invite everyone to bring a homemade ornament

Ornaments don't have to be expensive to be special. Ask each one of your guests to bring an inexpensive or homemade ornament to the party. You will enjoy the memories of this day for years to come when you hang these lovely treasures on your Christmas tree.

3Serve yummy holiday treats

Your Christmas munchies can be as simple or elegant as you wish. Eggnog, hot cocoa, finger foods and cookies are always a hit! If you want to get the kids involved, take time the day before to make homemade sugar cookies in the shape of Christmas trees. The children will love decorating them with colorful frosting and sprinkles.

4Prepare a Christmas craft

Children love crafts and what a better way to keep them busy during your tree-trimming party? If you've invited a large group of children or even if you haven't, plan a fun holiday craft. Even the adults might enjoy joining in the festivities! Clothespin reindeer, mini pinecone Christmas trees, salt dough candy canes and popcorn garlands are just a few ideas to get you started. Set up your crafting table in a separate room so there isn't a lot of extra traffic in front of the Christmas tree.

5Organize the ornaments

Be sure to pull out your ornaments and hangers ahead of time. You might want to pick some of the least fragile ornaments and let the youngest guests hang them first. Give everyone a turn to share a favorite Christmas memory as you decorate the tree from top to bottom. When the tree is finished, turn out the lights and invite everyone to sing along to some joyful Christmas carols as you admire the twinkling beauty.

6Plan festive party games

Finish off the party with a bang by playing some fun Christmas-themed games. Be creative! Pin the Nose on Rudolf, Santa Says (a spinoff of Simon Says), Three-Legged Stocking Race, Gift Wrap Relay and Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt are a few all-time favorites that are sure to be a hit with the kids!

Read more about Christmas tree decorating

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