STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY PARTY MAKEOVER (or: The Party With a Purpose)



We try our best not to overindulge our children, yet despite our best intentions they still have toys coming out their ears! Come Christmas and birthdays it seems like our tiny house is going to burst with all the plastic pieces, excessive packaging, and generously gifted glut!

So, this past September when my daughter turned 8, we came up with a new concept ~ The Party With a Purpose. First, we chose a cause near and dear to HER heart: Animals. We arranged with our local humane society (SPCA) to have a party on their premises. Guests were asked to bring a gift of blankets, towels, toys or treats for the animals, instead of a gift for my daughter. The generosity was overwhelming. The SPCA gave a wonderful presentation and slide-show and then took everyone on a tour of their facilities. After we had a brownie sundae bar (served in doggy dishes of course) on a sunny deck outside the education center, overlooking the barn where two baby goats had been born earlier in the week. It didn't seem to bother my daughter one iota that the mountain of presents weren't for her. She beamed with pride and pure joy when Dawn, our SPCA guide thanked her for hosting a "Party With a Purpose" at the SPCA.


When Jodie Kocur of "CARDS FOR KIDS" contacted me to let me know that they were doing a card drive for the holidays, it made me think immediately of what a wonderful opportunity this presented for a "Party With a Purpose". If you're not familiar with CARDS FOR KIDS, it's an open group, organized by Jodie, an assistant professor of psychology at Cal Lutheran University, that collects cards and treats for distribution to children in shelters and hospitals at holiday time. My children and their friends had a great time making cards for the CARDS FOR KIDS drive before Halloween (read more about it HERE).

Have you been mulling over the idea of hosting a holiday party or open house? Not much time? Not a lot of money? Want to do something different? Unique?

How about a
CARD MAKING OPEN HOUSE?

Step 1: Set a date
Step 2: Call, email, or evite some friends to stop by your house and make a card or two to donate to "CARDS FOR KIDS". Invite a friend or two or the whole crew!
Step 3: Set a simple table with cardstock, blank cards, stickers, scrapbook paper, glitter, glue sticks, doo-dads, etc. Get creative! For some great ideas on creative cards you can make with things from around your house visit HERE!
Step 4: Have a pot of warm cider (recipe HERE) and a plate of cookies available throughout the day.
Step 5: Mail cards, before 12/14 to:

Jodie Kocur, Assistant Professor


Psychology Department\


California Lutheran University


60 W Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

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