Patches and Goals: Gather our Project Elf service project gifts and make gift bags and wrapping paper for the presents. Practice our Courage with some caroling. Have fun!
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Arrival: Gathering- Decorate Gift bags for project Elf
6:05 Daisy Circle- Daisy Promise
6:40 Eat- kids explain what they brought
7:00 Make Wrapping paper
7:20 Graham cracker gingerbread houses
8:00 Pick Up
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A Note on the Political Correctness of the party:
We called this a “Holiday Party.” Truly, it was a Christmas Party. There wasn’t really anything religious about it, but we didn’t do anything to include other holidays either. Seven of our eight girls are Christian. For my one Muslim girl, I asked her mom ahead of time if she wanted to talk about their traditions and bring a traditional dish from their culture to the party. She showed up with red and green cupcakes.
My co-leader and I worried and fretted about making sure this girl didn’t feel excluded. We had favors and plates that only had snowmen on it and were very careful. Then this girl cheerfully showed up for the party head to toe in a Mrs. Clause outfit. She was the Christmasiest kid there. Turns out she loves Christmas and looks forward to celebrating it outside since they don’t at home. So, you never know. I do recommend you ask any non-Christian families what they would like to do if you have a holiday party.
When the girls came in they brought their Project Elf Gifts and put them under the tree. Our “adopted” family was a mom and a six year old girl (see meeting 5 for more details). Everyone had signed up for one gift for the little girl and most people also brought a gift card for a local grocery store for mom.
We encouraged the moms to have our girls pick out “stocking stuffers” for the both members of the adopted family. There was a lot of bath wash and toothbrushes, crayons and gloves, that sort of thing. I bought two stockings from the dollar store to stuff. They were over flowing in the end.
My co-leader bought plain brown and white gift bags. We laid these out on the table with markers and after the girls came in and put down their gifts, they decorated the bags.
Most of the moms stayed for the party and some younger siblings went caroling with us. Everyone brought a holiday dish and the moms got those squared away while the girls decorated the bags.
We skipped the Kapers for the party and just said the Promise quickly together. After that we talked about proper etiquette with caroling, safety (staying together etc) and practiced a song or two.
Initially, we were going to “Carol for Cans,” where you ask for donations for a song. Ultimately, we decided that was too complicated and I’m glad we did. Only a few of the neighbors came to the door to let the girls sing to them. It worked out fine, but looking back I can’t imagine asking for donations.
I had thought that the girls were going to be shy and it would be hard to get them to come out of their shell and sing (thus the Courageous tie-in). I don’t know if it was all the preparation they had for this or if they were just so excited to be at a party together but the girls took to this like ducks to water. You’d have thought they were trick or treating the way they ran from house to house, arguing about who got to ring the door bell.
As I said, we only got a few people to answer the door and let the girls sing, but those people were very nice and kind to the girls and he girls absolutely loved it.
We asked everyone to bring a dish that was traditional to their family for the holidays. What we got was mac and cheese, mini meatballs, risotto, fruit and a bunch of sweets. Not exactly the cultural tie in I was imagining, but everyone was happy with the food. All in all, the girls came back from caroling starving, ate a ton and left us with clean up. Next year we’re being much stricter with the girls about cleaning up after themselves.
This was a fun way to get the girls more involved with Project Elf.
1. Roll of mural paper (butcher paper would work too)
2. Foam stamps (and rubber if you have them, though foam works better)
3. Red, green and gold washable paint
4. Paper plates
We rolled out the mural paper on the tile flour and gave each girl a paper plate with their choice of paint. They then went to town with the stamps. After a little while, they must of gotten bored with the stamps because they moved on the hand prints. I thought that looked pretty great too so I let their creativity flow.
After the houses the girls got to turn on music and just dance. I’m sure the parents loved us. Hyped them up on sugar, got them all wound up then sent them home. The girls had a blast!
I honestly don’t think this happened, all I remember is sugar crazed munchkins running in circles.
No homework. We had favors that included the caroling patch and a bunch of cute little Christmassy things. Wish I’d taken a picture of them. Who knew we’d have a blog and need pictures of that stuff.