‘Tis the season for so many wonderful things, but GIVING is definitely at the top of the list! And whether it’s bringing joy to loved ones via special celebrations and thoughtful gifts, or donating time and resources to those that are in need, a desire to give is at the heart of all of these things.
That’s why I’m so happy be partnering with Glad® this month to help spread the word about their wonderful #GladtoGive initiative, which is all about inspiring the efforts of giving, as well as encouraging the sharing of that extra holiday food instead of wasting it!
And here’s a cool tidbit: when you share a picture of your holiday meal or leftovers with the hashtag #GladtoGive, Glad will donate $1 to Free The Children to provide a meal for those less fortunate. Imagine how many meals a simple social media share can provide when LOTS of people get involved!
And speaking of coming together… if you’re hosting a a holiday get-together, asking your guests to bring a small donation is another great way to give back. Last week, Sonny and I hosted a holiday dinner party with a few good friends and asked each family to bring a gently worn or new coat to donate to One Warm Coat.
I’ll explain a little more about that below, but first let’s talk PARTY details for a bit while we’re on the subject, since this is HWTM after all! ;)
As I mentioned earlier, this was a small dinner party with a few good friends (3 other couples and their kids). The best thing about smaller get-togethers is that you get that really good conversation time with everyone, instead of trying to jump around for a few minutes between a zillion people. One of the families even brought their brand new 8-week-old puppy over! He was definitely the most popular guest of the night. ;)
• • • • • T H E T A B L E S C A P E • • • • •
I was inspired by the giving theme to go with a “presents” sort of look for the table. I found the cutest rolls of gift wrap by Sugar Paper at Target and used those as a jumping off point for the table design… starting with cutting strips of paper to create a “gift wrapped” look for the chairs!
Wrapping paper was also used as the “table runner” and layered on top of black and white striped fabric from Ikea. I used the printables from my Red & Gold Holiday Glitz collection as napkin rings, which you can download below for free!
When you have place settings with chargers on both sides of a rectangular table, there’s never much room left for the centerpiece, as was the case here. I went with more of a long and skinny design than ran down the length of the table and featured mason jars filled with flowers, mercury glass votive holders lights, and ceramic ornaments.
I painted the mason jars white and gold and especially love how these turned out!
I also picked up a pack of chipboard drink coasters by Sugar Paper, and used those at each place setting + hot glued extras to a dowel rod to act as a centerpiece “sign”.
I fell in love with this geometric bear (also from Target) and put him front and center on the table. I’d love to just design a whole party around him if there was endless time available! (#wishfulthinking)
• • • • • T I M E F O R D I N N E R • • • • •
Sonny is a great cook and came through with the food like always! He did 2 turkeys – one brined & roasted and one that was deep-fried. For the sides, we had cornbread stuffing, cream cheese mashed potates, gravy, cranberry, bacon brussel sprouts and dinner rolls.
This might have been the first time in my life that I literally ate all of my brussel sprouts FIRST, especially with all the other great stuff around. And I’m (sadly) not even a huge vegetable person… they were just THAT GOOD. Do these even still count as a vegetable when they’re pan-fried with tons of bacon though? ;)
The kids table was a little less fancy than the grown up one but had something extra fun just for them – huge white “Santa Beard” lollipops that they happily used as photo props later in the evening. Here’s my youngest hamming it up, as she likes to do. :)
I made another gift wrap table runner for the kids table (using a different paper design) and a holiday-ish flannel sheet served as the “tablecloth”.
Can’t resist throwing in a couple more pics of Beans the puppy… is he the cuteness or what?!
• • • • • L E F T O V E R S • • • • •
As expected, we had LOTS of food leftover after dinner… but were determined to make sure none of it went to waste! I set 2 out sizes of GladWare® Containers (Entree & Family Size), which made things super easy, and let everyone have at it. Some people wanted to keep the different dishes separate in the entree sized containers, while others opted to pack it all into one of the larger containers.
I also had Party Circles on hand that acted as “markers” so we could tell whose container belonged to who. They also made the containers look extra festive! You can download these printable circles below.
• • • • • D O N A T I O N S • • • • •
Last but definitely not least, is the coats! One Warm Coat is a wonderful organization that Glad has also teamed up with for the #GladtoGive program. (And their Glad ForceFlex® bags are great for collecting the coats!) You can find a drop off location near you to donate gently worn or new coats, start a coat drive yourself, or simply donate money for coats. Learn more about them here.