Sunday, December 8, 2013

my pinterest inspired ladies' christmas event

So, I've been busy the last few weeks planning and preparing for yesterday's Christmas party for the ladies at our church. This is the third time I've coordinated this event and it's a lot of work, but totally worth it in the end. It took me a while to get the theme, and I was starting to get worried because I kept scouring Pinterest for ideas and talking to friends, but I was coming up with nothing. It wasn't until the end of September, after our Fall Festival of Missions weekend, that it all came together.

Our church conference theme for the ladies' events in 2013 was Come Walk With Me. So our spring retreat and fall festival both took on those sorts of ideas. Well, at Fall Festival, one of our guest speakers was a gal from Hope Teams International. She spent quite a bit of time talking about Project Manuelito, which is an orphanage many of our churches sponsor, in Honduras. She mentioned something about Christmas shoes for the kids there, and I took that idea and rolled with it. Thank you, Pinterest, for helping me to pull it all together. I really am not very good at coming up with original ideas, but I can surely use resources like Pinterest and the interwebs to make it happen. Why reinvent the wheel? That's what I always say.

So our theme became The Christmas Shoes, and since that was kind of an unusual theme, I told the table hostesses they could do anything Christmas related, it didn't necessarily have to be shoes. But some of them managed to incorporate shoes into their tables and it was so fun!

Here's my table. My original plan was to fold the napkins like elf shoes, but after watching the youtube video a couple of times, I realized that the reason it wasn't working was because I needed rectangular napkins, not square ones. I ended up going with this pocket fold instead. I also had been seeing lots of yarn trees on pinterest, and when I was at Craft Warehouse and saw the cone trees 40% off and the chunky red and lime green yarn 2 for $3, I knew what I was going to do for my centerpiece. Super easy. Super cute.

The hostess of this table made everyone salt dough ornaments in the shape of a high heeled shoe. She filled her purple shoes with Hershey's kisses.
 Silverware wrapped up in Christmas socks.
 Santa's boots filled with glittery ornaments.
 Santa's boots again, this time as flower pots.
 Nativity themed table. . .
 complete with an ornament for each guest.
 Pretty Willow Tree angels.
 Another Nativity themed table with hand knit coffee cozies for everyone to take home.
This game was super fun. I thought everyone would think I was a dork for making them draw a picture on a paper plate that they couldn't look at, but they loved it. The finished artwork was pretty fabulous too.

One of my favorite things about this event is picking out some sort of prize for something. Sometimes it's just a door prize - like check under your plate for a tag and win a pineapple (that was last year) or whoever bought the first ticket wins something theme related. Well, this year, the winners from each table got a bottle of nail polish (in keeping with the shoe theme) and I made tags that said for your mistletoes. Another stolen idea from Pinterest. It helped that I scored a fabulous deal on nail polish at Ulta!
We also have an ornament exchange, and every year I've hosted, I've always heard ladies say that they have no idea who their ornament was from and they wished they did so they could thank them. So this year, we just swapped around the individual tables. I found this left-right Nativity story and it was perfect! I only read part of it because it's kind of long, and I had requests to get people copies of the story to them. They loved it. Seriously, there was so much laughter I was cracking up while reading it.

I always want to do a little something to decorate the room. It's a good sized room with a stage that we don't really use. I saw this idea for stage decorations and loved it, but it didn't work out quite how I had envisioned. A man from church brought me some good sized pieces of really thick (and hard to cut) cardboard from work and I went old school with the overhead projector and traced out some trees. I wanted them to be bigger than what I ended up with, but the way the cardboard was cut, I could only get them like this. I bought metallic gold, silver, and bronze spray paint and here's what I ended up with. Propped them up on a table and it turned out to be a great place to collect the socks and money for shoes for the orphanage.
We ate an amazing catered lunch, sang carols, watched a slide show with pictures of the orphans we were helping out, and our pastor's wife always reads us a Christmas story. So much fun, but I'm glad it's over. I've still got pumpkins and Indian corn to put away. My Christmas cookie exchange is next Sunday, so time to transform our house from fall to a Christmas wonderland.


bmarquez said...

This was seriously the best one I've been too. I am already looking forward to next years event.

Cyndee said...

Wendy, I LOVE the photos of your Christmas event!! Thanks for linking back to my site - so glad you all had fun with the Left Right Nativity Story. :) I would love to have you guest post on my blog sometime - you've got great ideas that I know would benefit other leaders. Blessings to you and your ministry, Cyndee