Monday, December 8, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and Peppermint Serving Platter Tutorial!!

I love Christmas!  I love decorating, I love family time, and I love throwing parties.  My last Christmas party, which I had been wanting to throw for a while, was the very popular Ugly Christmas Sweater theme.  It was special to me because, it was the first year, since my husband and I have been married that we had our very own Christmas tree.  Seems weird to some, but being a military family, we have moved 8 times in the past 6 years.  Crazy I know, but it never seemed to align where we had our own tree, let alone being able to host a party.  My husband had just gotten back from a 7 month deployment and we were on the list for a house on base.  We had a projected move in date of December 1st, but ended up not being able to move in until December 12th.  All fine and dandy, except the Christmas party I had spent months planning was December 17th.  To make a very long story short, we busted our rear ends and got the house completely unpacked in 4 days and the party was a total blast!  Hope you enjoy this party as much as I did planning it!

The party was potluck style, so everyone brought a dish to share.  We were in charge of the desserts (of course, my favorite), and BBQ meatballs in the crockpot.  All the food was delicious.  For the desserts, I made eggnog cupcakes with adorable fondant cupcake toppers that I made custom for the party.  We also had white chocolate dipped strawberries that resembled Santa hats, chocolate dipped pretzel rods and strawberry topped brownie bites, that when assembled, looked like Christmas trees.

 For the dessert table, I used a plain red table cloth and took a long piece of ugly sweater wrapping paper (from Target) and made a runner the length of the table.  For the backdrop, I covered a trifold poster board with the same ugly sweater wrapping paper.  In the center of the table was a small, fake Christmas tree with pinecones scatted on it.  I elevated the Christmas tree, so that it would be the focal point of the table, on a wood slab cake stand (from World Market).  I added large pinecones to the table and had an Ugly, Uglier and Ugliest banner that I printed at home.
We also had a hot chocolate bar where guests could choose different ingredients to add to their hot chocolate.  They could choose from chocolate dipped marshmallows, carmel, chocolate chips, peppermint sticks, etc.

To serve the desserts, I made super cute platters out of peppermints (tutorial below).  They were easy and really gave a unique appearance to the desserts.

Everyone showed up to the party with an ugly Christmas sweater.  Some were store bought and some were homemade, but everyone came looking very festive!  We held a contest for Ugly, Uglier and Ugliest sweater between the adults and kids and at the end of the night, votes were tallied and the winners were crowned.  We also had a photo booth set up where everyone could take photos using various props like antlers, santa hat, santa beard, elf hat, mistletoe, etc.

We had such a fun night and enjoyed the company of our friends and family.  So much so that we are throwing another Christmas party this year.  We are now in a new place, and the party theme is a bit different, but it has still been a blast to plan and will be even more fun to throw!  Here is a sneak peek of this years party, which I will share the week of Christmas.

Peppermint Serving Platters

You will need:

Red and green bag of peppermints
parchment paper
cookie sheet

Preheat the oven to 350*.  Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.  Arranged unwrapped mints in platter form desired (square, rectangle, oval, circle, etc.).  The mints will spread when they melt so leave an inch or so of a free boarder around mints.  Cook for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to completely cool before removing parchment paper.  Be very careful when removing parchment paper, as platters will be very fragile.