When asked what we needed to do this season, one child requested the White Elephant Bingo party. We did this for the first time last year and had a pretty good time. I felt like I probably needed to let everyone invite friends and not just June, but that leads to a LOT of kids in the house at one time. Plus, with different ages, you never know quite what to expect..
June made the invitations and as a reminder to myself, we need to put on there that people should bring an unwrapped White Elephant gift. It is very traditional for gifts to be wrapped, but for this activity, you want to see them all before you choose. We had to unwrap several people's gifts as they arrived, which is a little weird. But it all worked out. We moved into Midguard this year since we needed the extra space. You can see our table of gifts and children clustered around the coffee table.
We also had a full crowd around the dining room table as well.
Last year we had M&Ms as markers, but it seems the holidays are overly sweet, so I had the genius idea to use cheerios. They were eaten in droves and I didn't have to feel too guilty about sugaring kids up and sending them home.
Marinn and Brooke were our first Bingos. Remember, everyone got a prize eventually, and some people got extra candy. I believe Jane had the bad luck this year. I think she was one of the very last Bingos. (Ivory did much better this year.)
I quickly remembered why we usually do these parties for the older kids. Pearl had one friend in particular who lost interest about ten minutes in. She wasn't naughty or very annoying, but she was all over the place. Sophie was kind to keep track of her card so she could eventually get a Bingo. After Bingo was over we put on a movie to entertain the littles. (It mostly worked. Daisy and company dutifully watched, but Pearl et al. were still on the move most of the time.)
Ivory and her age group started up a game of Wise and Otherwise. I supervised at that table and played with them. Ivory told me I couldn't play because I would win. Turns out she was right...but I tried very hard NOT to win. (Does that count for anything?) Oh...yes, Andru was the only boy who came. Ivory is usually the one who invites a guy.
The bigs were busy in the other room and thank goodness for Tyler and the camera or we would have no pictures. I think they played Spoons, Murder in the Dark, and Caveman Telephone.
Another success. It is always crazy when we have a house full of noise and commotion, but I think it is important for the kids. I hope they have good memories of parties at our house.
Virginia sent us a box of goodies. We always love opening her box. This year there were gingerbread houses. I have a strict NO gingerbread houses rule, but that doesn't include gifts given. I told the kids that I wasn't going to be in charge in any way and they could go to town. (I know I am a scrooge when it comes to gingerbread houses, but I don't understand them. They are so hard to make and then what do you do? Either eat it and feel sick...too much candy. Or don't eat it, and waste the food. It is a strange tradition in my book.)
The kids were happy to work on them and do the best they could. Virginia got a little village with four houses and a separate dog house. It was perfect for the kids. They were tricky but I think the kids got along fine, helped each other, and were proud of their efforts. I think June's was the only house that didn't stay together. She ate hers before I got a picture.
It was funny that the dog house was a separate kit, so it ended up being as big as the houses. That is one puppy who is living in style. I'm really proud of all the finished products. Thanks Virginia for making the holiday a little sweeter.