Cousin's Christmas Party

My hubby's family has had a little growth spurt in the last few years.  There are a lot of cousins all around the same ages.  It makes family gatherings so fun because it is just a huge playdate for the little guys.  This year I wanted to have a little party for the cousin's.

First we handed out invites at Thanksgiving.  The kids were excited to get the invitations.
A few days before the party I made some Applesauce-Cinnamon ornaments
The recipe called for 1 C cinnamon & 1/4 C applesauce and 1/4 Craft Glue.  I followed the recipe and found it to be too dry--I kept adding applesauce and glue until it felt right and wasn't too sticky.
I cut out girls and boys.  Use a straw to poke a hole for ribbon while you are cutting out the dough.  I kept the cutouts on paper towels.  Make sure to rotate every 6-8 hours to help the drying time go faster.  Saturday morning before the party I threw a few of them in a 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes just to make sure they were dry.
The day of the party all eleven children attended--yep, ages 6 and under.  It was so fun.  At one point my neighbors came to drop off a treat and rang the doorbell twice and pounded on the door.  My hubby even called downstairs to tell us that someone was at the door--we didn't even hear it.  We were able to get all 11 kids sitting on a couch for a fun picture.  To keep one of the kids on the couch I pulled out a dum-dum sucker and it worked magic-except all the other kids wanted one too.  So we have a picture of the kids sucking on a sucker, but they sat on the couch quietly and contently for a good five minutes worth of pictures.
After lunch and pictures the kids got to decorate their own ornament.
 I wrote the child's name and 2011 on the back before they started decorating.  The above ornament turned into a finger painting session soon after I took this picture.
 Everyone had a blast making their ornament.
 This was my little girls ornament, she said the gold at the top was curly hair.
This was the ornament I made the day before so everyone could get an idea of what to do.
After the ornaments we let the kids play while we cleaned up.  Then we moved on to a gift exchange.  I asked each child to bring a gift worth about $1--I just passed out the gifts and everyone opened all at once.  We just couldn't see a "real" white elephant gift exchange working well with toddlers.  Everyone got a gift that they loved.  After the gifts the kids played some more then we did one more art project.
I made puffy paint and everyone loved getting their hands messy finger painting.  They loved how their pictures would come to life in the microwave.
All the mom's were great and helped clean the house back up and it was spotless when all the kids left.
That night we had the missionaries over for dinner, while dinner was finishing cooking I gave them each an ornament to decorate.

These are some pretty cool looking gingerbread-missionaries.

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