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Season of Giving Tree party

 
It’s never too late to embrace the season of giving, which is why we totally heart this playfully philanthropic party idea. Remember Shel Silverstein’s iconic children’s book The Giving Tree? We’re riffing on that concept to create a party plan that’s one part festive, one part fun and one part pay it forward.

 

In a nutshell…

Big or small, this party’s focus will center on a tree—the Giving Tree. Decorate it with some of our cute Christmas tree crafts. We particularly like the idea of cutting out cardboard stars, dipping one side in glitter and having potential gift recipients writing words of thanks on the other side. Givers can take the stars home as party favors and reminders of their sweet seasonal deed.

In your invite, ask each individual to bring a small gift, like a toy or stuffed animal for a kid in need. Have them place their gifts around the tree upon arrival, then enjoy the party with festive food, drinks and music. Afterward, head to a drop-off location for Toys for Tots, a local shelter or children’s hospital and make like elves delivering your presents. Your giving spirit will make this a happy holiday, indeed!

 

Make it happen…

Get permission

First thing’s first: You need to talk to your parents to make sure they’re OK with having a party at home. If they aren’t, perhaps you can work together to find a different space, like a community center. Then you need to decide who will benefit from your party. Pick a charity that calls to you.

 

Spread the word

Pass out hand-made invites at school, use e-vite.com or create a Facebook event for your party. For this shindig, we’re thinking the bigger, the better! Invite your homeroom, your basketball team, your neighbors, your Girl Scout troop—anyone and everyone who is looking to spread some holiday cheer.

 

Grab your tree

The day before your party, go to a nursery or garden store and pick out your tree. Go for something scrawny and adorable, ala A Charlie Brown Christmas, or one that’s fantastically chubby. Big or tall, the size of your tree matters not at all. Do be sure to decorate it, though, with whatever catches your fancy: paper chains, popcorn garlands and macaroni frames are all fair game.

 

Good eats

Since you’re asking your guests to arrive with a gift, it would be especially nice to treat them to a festive feast, don’t you think? Be prepared with a spread of hot and cold finger foods, like pigs in a blanket, mini sandwiches and lots and lots of cookies.

 

Make merry

The key to any successful party? The tunes! Blast an eclectic mix of holiday classics. We’re loving Glee’s Christmas album and She and Him’s new CD.

 

Get your giving on

Don Santa hats, toss your goodies in the car and take a trip to your designated charity’s HQ. If you’re lucky enough to give them directly to the kids, consider throwing a second party for them to enjoy, complete with carols and cookies. The finishing touch? Reading The Giving Tree aloud.
 
 
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 12/8/2011 12:19:00 PM

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