Last year around Christmas, I picked up my son from the babysitter and he had presents for all of us! I came to find out that their neighborhood had organized what they called a “Little Santa's Workshop” as a way to give kids the opportunity to give gifts to family members and feel the joy of giving. It's a magical way to get together, in lieu of the typical neighbor gifts, and light the fire of giving in the kiddos! Let us tell you all about this fun neighborhood Christmas party idea!
To get started, send out an invite! This can be on the neighborhood Facebook page, or you can download our editable printable invite at the bottom of this post and send them out by hand! Pick the place (clubhouse, friend's basement, church, etc.), and attach our handy rules card (also at the bottom of the post) to your invite. This will have info such as when to come, who is invited, what to bring, and how it will work! Take a look at the rules right here:
The kinds of donations are listed on the invitation, but they could also include gently used items, something made, something on sale that you stashed away for a birthday party, or attendees can donate money so that the organizers can buy what is needed. The point isn't to have the fanciest gifts, so don't stress too much. The main idea is to give kids the experience of giving, and if the receiver likes the gift, that's a win-win!
3. Gift Wrapping
On the list of items for the neighborhood to donate, include wrapping supplies! Then, on the day of the event, use those items to set up a wrapping station for the kids and let their wrapping creativity go wild! This will really make them take ownership of the gift in a creative way, and let them add a special touch to the gift. We also have a free printable for these darling gift tags (scroll to the bottom of the post for access)!
It's not a party without treats! Add a donation of treats to your invite or tell the whole neighborhood to bring something pot-luck style. Whatever you do, adding some sugar makes any gathering extra sweet.
Setup for the actual event can be as simple as setting all of the donated items on card tables or building designated shelves to make it look like a little holiday boutique, it's up to you! The most important thing is to set it all out so that little hands can reach the goods and find what they want! We found these affordable plastic shelves on Amazon and covered them with these foldable paper awnings from Oriental Trading to give it a shop feel. Then, we made a little paper garland with a circle hole punch to tie it all together. If you are a party decor queen, go crazy! Or, if you like to keep things simple, that's great, too. The important part is that everyone is gathering to feel the spirit of giving.
As kids arrive to shop, we recommend that the parents step back as much as possible and let the kids take ownership of what they choose and how they wrap it. Older siblings can be there to make sure all of the rules are followed and that things run smoothly. We also recommend that each child starts by picking out something for just mom and dad (or two other special people of their choice) and then wait until everyone else has shopped. After that, if gifts remain they can go back for round two and shop for siblings, grandparents, etc.
So much fun! Our kids were so full of excitement over giving that they forgot all about themselves and that's what this little party idea is all about.
Be sure to send us an email if you have any questions or want more info on making this party idea work for you! We'd love to hear from you at email@example.com.