I love to be frugal and love to entertain. However, the two often do not go hand in hand, so I knew I had to think of a thrifty entertainment idea. What I have been doing for several years now, is serve a single food, cookies, and simple beverage (such as ice tea) and ask for gifts. But, the gifts are not for me, they are for others. The invitations I send out explain it all and contain a wish-list and sizes.
The first year, I had a "Potato and Princess Party." It was simple, I served baked potatoes with several toppings and tea. Very inexpensive. I adopted a 3 year old female Christmas angel. I put her wish list on the invitations and asked each guest to bring an item for her. She was being raised by her grandmother, so I also asked for a canned good or house-good item for the grandmother.
That year, the "princess" got books, underwear and socks, boots, a new coat, blanket, dolls, toys and several clothing outfits. The grandma received a clothes basket full of laundry soap, and canned goods. The party was a hit, and the expense of making these two happy at Christmas was not the burden of one person.
Another year we did "Soup and Superman" for a 5 year old boy who loved Superman. During the summer, I did a "Salad and School Supply", and after a local family had a fire and had to relocate to a new vacant house we had a "Bonfire and Bedding" party. I supplied hot dogs and buns and people bought bedding, linens, and much more.
I do the parties as a sort of open house - come and go between 5 and 9. If it is for Christmas, I play Christmas music in the background. Guest bring their gifts unwrapped and wrap it while at my party with paper I buy on clearance the year before after Christmas.
Since the gifts are arriving unwrapped, any duplicate items are spotted and put into a separate pile. Those gifts I give to Family Services or Angel Tree to be passed on to another child who may not have been picked. I am sure to label those with the item name and size.
This is a great way to celebrate the holidays or the end of summer without spending a lot of money, give to others, and also teach others to give. I have several friends from where I used to live that are now doing this since I moved away.
Some years, I have had people also give me used items in the same size range as our adopted angel. Those items I gave to their social worker and asked them to pass on to the family after Christmas.
By April from NW MO
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How kind, I think you are also the angel.
That is a really nice considerate idea.
Very inspiring and easy to do. And I agree with Ruth. You're an angel for doing it and for sharing the idea. May God bless you. :-)
Thank you for sharing your "Adopted Angels" story.
It should be made into a Hallmark Special and shared with others. Who knows how many people would be inspired by it. You have a good heart, Bless you for being kind and caring.
Wonderful idea! Sounds like a lot of fun too as good deeds often are. My children would enjoy doing this too, so we're going to do it this year for Christmas. We used to go down to one of the malls and let them each pick an "Angel Tree" child's name, but I've not seen that being done the past couple of years. I like the "Angel Trees", but can't always afford all the things the children of today are asking for. This is a way we might be able to take care of everything.
Thank you for sharing with us.
I agree with Ruth Langdon!
That is so sweet! In this day and age it seems most people are so self centered, how wonderful you care enough to do something for these little guys!
What a wonderful and inspiring idea! I'm going to see if my sons' Boy Scout troop wants to do this! Thanks!
How awesome! Thanks for sharing this wonderful way to be a blessing! I can't wait to do this! You should send this idea to the editors of your local paper or something. This is really great.
What a wonderful idea!
Wonderful idea! So often we think we can't entertain because it won't be lavish or pretty and you found a great way to entertain and do something so worthwhile. Congratulations!
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