I have hosted many holiday celebrations in my day. I have learned some valuable lessons so that my guests of all ages have a great time. I love entertaining, and the main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves, eat well, and get to spend time with people that they love. It helps to have a plan and a few tricks up your sleeve.
I set a table just for the children. While I may not set it with my finest china, I still make it beautiful and fancy. I use bright and fun colors, real plates, fabric napkins, and fresh flowers. The kids need to feel included in this special day. I also expect my children to be children. There are years when there may be a lull in the time that we sit down, to the time that we actually eat. I go online beforehand and find some holiday themed printables to keep the little ones busy. My kids love clipboards, so I give each child their own clipboard with various puzzles, coloring sheets, and games. I also keep jars of crayons and markers on the table so that the children can use whatever colors that they like. If I am really on my game, I might even include a simple craft that the kids can complete with no supervision.
I love to also make the kids their own special snack tray. While the adults are sipping cocktails and eating appetizers, the kids are doing the same. Well, not the cocktail part anyway. I like to put bowls of crackers, raisins, caramel corn, apple slices, grapes, sliced cheese, and nuts on the table for the kids to snack on. Every time I do this, the kids get so excited and feel adult. It also helps to fill little tummies in between courses, or if the cooking time runs a little long.
I also like to make the children feel included by making them a special treat for dessert. While they are more than welcome to sample the dessert table at the end of the night, I want them to have a treat just for them. I usually will make cupcakes or cookies that are really festive. For this table, I made spiced sugar cookies with a maple glaze decorated to match my table. The kids love them and they can take them home as a favor if they want to. If you keep the children in mind when planning your holiday, I guarantee that everyone will have a good time.