Wednesday, February 19

Chocolate Popcorn & Nut Treat Bags {and a traveling Christmas party}

Every year my dad's family does a traveling Christmas party. We make a day of it and everyone who lives in that area (which is most of the family!) takes a turn having everyone at their house for a small meal and games with prizes. It is so. much. fun. Last year there were a LOT of participants so it took us almost 12 hours to make it through!

I don't live close enough to host myself, but this was my sisters first year in her own house so I got to help her out a bit. Yay! To give you an idea of how the stops go, this is what we did at her house: she had the chips & dips course and added in a yummy homemade hot cocoa bar. The cocoa bar included homemade cocoa mix, homemade whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed peppermint, and probably more things I'm forgetting. :) She also made fruit salsa, cinnamon chips, guacamole, and added in a several kinds of store-bought chips and popcorn too.

For games she found trivia questions online that she read out and everyone guessed the answers... most right answers got to pick a wrapped prize (anything from reindeer antlers to dish towels to candy bars). We also did a "make a Christmas tree game" where we divided everyone into four teams and gave each team wrapping paper, green streamers, and tape and they had two minutes to make one teammate look like a Christmas tree. Two people sat out to judge and picked the best Christmas tree from the bunch. I now present you with bad phone pictures of the contestants:

And the winner... courtesy of the boy-cousins....

That was definitely my favorite part! After the games we wrapped things up with party favors. Sister screen printed custom dish towels that said "Traveling Christmas 2013" and I made some little snack bags. We used cute little paper bags like these:

And filled them with chocolate dipped pecans (melt dark chocolate chips and dip the pecans in)...

And white chocolate popcorn. Yum yum! To make the popcorn I stove popped it (in coconut oil) salted it, and added some melted white chocolate chips and mixed like crazy. I used a bag of white chocolate chips for about 40 cups of popped popcorn.

The traveling Christmas party is such a fun tradition and I think everyone should do it! If you need a few ideas to get you started, some of the courses we did this year were donuts, biscuits and gravy, chips and dip, sandwiches, soup, appetizers, and desserts. And games the games can be anything from word scrambles, to trivia, to win-lose-or-draw, to making snowmen out of toilet paper, to charades. And there are some really creative family games that pop up from time to time. Once my aunt hung up pictures of my grandma in the outfits she wore to each family wedding (which is quite a few!) and we had to guess which outfits she wore when. Another time my aunt with the last stop swiped an ornament from everyone's tree as we went and at the end had everyone guess which tree they had come from. Just have fun and be creative!

Has anyone else done parties like this?

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