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A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa

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santa party

HWTM Contributor Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff here to share our recent Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa that I styled for a session with Michelle Kujawski Photography. A neutral palette with creams and whites, mixed with pops of greenery and red berries made this a super cozy setting for a day with Santa and a home decor that will last all winter long.  The kids enjoyed a magical experience that made them feel like they were in Santa’s living room!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Vintage inspired “I love the winter weather” backdrop sign over the mantle
  • Rustic wooden mail organizer-turned-mailbox with letters written to Santa + candy canes for the kids
  • Homemade marshmallows packaged in clear boxes with twine and tags
  • Custom designed cotton sacks with “Santa’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa” labels

santas hot chocolate

rustic christmas decorations

vintage christmas post cardssantas deskhot cocoa bags

rustic milk and cookies table

santas milk and cookies

homemade cookies for santacookies

cookies banner


vintage christmas mantle

rustic christmas tree decorations

boxwood wreath

vintage santa decorvintage sled

christmas shelves

letters to santahot cocoa

vintage santa printables




I had the honor of styling the set for Michelle Kujawski Photography’s Santa photo sessions in my home just a couple weeks ago.  I styled a Rustic Christmas setting with decor – Michelle opened up her schedule to 5 amazing families who have darling children.  I hope the children will forever remember their visit with Santa.  (I hope the parents remember not having to go to the mall to visit Santa! And to see their children’s faces when they saw the set and Santa)

We designed custom Santa Printables for the photoshoot and included them in our shop. These printable designs would be a great fit for a Breakfast with Santa party, cookie exchange or hot cocoa party! (with Coffee for the moms and dads, of course like we showed here)

Michelle Kujawski Photography came to me with an idea to have a Santa Mini Session.  Now, I am obsessed with Santa (remember our North Pole Christmas Party?) and so I just had to get involved.  I volunteered to host the photo sessions in my house and knew exactly the styling that I would add.  I had to decorate my house for the holidays anyhow, so this was just extra incentive to make it even cooler!

I designed some Santa Printables to go along with the photo session.  These would be perfect for the session, but I knew I had to offer it to our clients as well!  These are perfect for a Cookie Exchange, Santa Breakfast or any holiday party!

For the photo session, the idea was to have children come and sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy milk and cookies, write a letter and wish list to Santa to take back to the North Pole.  Of course they had to walk away with something, so they all got homemade marshmallows (Michelle made them!) and adorable cotton pouches with hot cocoa inside and a mini candy cane.  We designed the Santa Iron on that said “Santa’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa”. The children were thrilled!

As for decor, the centerpiece on the mantle is my wooden sign that I made. It features a phrase from my favorite Christmas Song, “I love the Winter Weather” by Tony Bennett.  LOVE that song. (Adria does, too! You might find us singing it all year long)

The mantle had greenery and berries covering the top.  Burlap stockings were hung and I added a little assortment of greenery that I made (Video DIY coming soon!)

My shelves were also decked with a variety of wintery neutral decor.  I loved using my Vintage Sled to the side of the mantle as an accent piece.  I also found these awesome birch candles to add to the decor.

Frosted Topiary trees are a great accent to break up the wood and other materials in the shelves. I also love boxwood topiary balls!

I have a  Vintage Mailbox Organizer that I stuffed with printable santa postcards that I created.  I also mixed in candy canes and greenery.

The mantle had some whitewashed logs and an assortment of greenery displayed in an antique Wood toolbox.  The mantle was anchored by two prelit Christmas Trees (about 3′ tall)

I mixed in Old Looking Clocks and Birch Logs for some dimension and texture.  Also, Glass Bottles with greenery or berries.

For the cookie table, the Antique Windows and gorgeous Boxwood Wreath were the focal point backdrop.  A “Cookies” printable banner hung from the front of the buffet.

I displayed Michelle’s homemade cookies on Milk Glass Cake Stands.  A Burlap Runner helped break up the black from the piece of furniture that I used.

Glass milk bottles were displayed with cotton twine and our printable label.  We also added some Frosted Topiary trees to the decor and it really made it feel whimsical.

My tree had burlap ribbon garland and some gorgeous new ornaments. I especially love my new Glittered House Ornament and Rustic House Ornaments.

Styling a Santa photo set will always be at the top of my list as for yearly traditions (with Michelle!)  If you are local, be sure to keep an eye out for details on this next year.

Find the Santa printables in the shop here!


Vendor Credit


  1. @honestywedding December 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa #catering #wedding http://t.co/I1RC0Jj17F

  2. @JSGEvents December 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa http://t.co/5FGqsOhesz

  3. @markbabcook December 26, 2014 at 6:05 am

    A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa https://www.hwtm.com/2014/12/rustic-christmas-cookie-party/

  4. […] eso, al ver esta preciosa fiesta en Hostess with the Mostess he venido corriendo a compartirla con vosotros. En este caso se trata de Papá Noel, y toda una […]

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