This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiveHappiness #CollectiveBias
During the holidays, I always want to have people over for parties but it seems like I get so busy that I don’t have the time to plan the party, decorate, and make food. This year I found a great way using Walmart’s prepared meals to make entertaining over the holidays easy and fun, and to give back to the community at the same time.
I wanted to have a dinner party with a classic, timeless Christmas feel. I decided to go with a color scheme of rich reds and lots of white, with accents of natural greenery throughout. I love all of the vintage Coca-Cola crates and bottle holders that I mixed in with the food and décor; they give it that vintage-y, cozy feel that I love.
Behind the food table, I hung a boxwood wreath on the wall with a cute Christmas sign as a simple, clean backdrop for all the great food we’d be eating. I love using decorations that can stay up through the whole holiday season so I can enjoy all my effort for the whole month!
I really wanted our guest to have no problem mingling and talking over dinner, and so I kept the table centerpiece low that way everyone could see each other. I love having something long and low to fill the space and really pull everyone together.
The plaid table runner brings in the pop of red that I was using without being too matchy-matchy. A few days before the party, I cut about twenty boughs of Boxwood from the bush at my parents house and made a faux-garland with them; this was so easy to do and looked so pretty. All I did was start with the larger branches and lay them on the table end to end, making a kind of “S” shape, then I took smaller branches and filled in anywhere that it was a little bare to make it more lush looking. I simply tucked the ends of the branches underneath each other so it would have the same look as a garland but it took less than two minutes to do!
Once the boxwood was in place, I filled in the curves of my garland with these cute mason jar snow globes I made. They were such pretty center pieces and can double as a thoughtful party favor for your guest to take home. I love that I can re-use them as holiday décor all season.
To make snow globes yourself, you just need mason jars with lids, gorilla glue, glycerin, distilled water, fake snow, glitter and cute things to put inside. For our jars I used bottle bristle trees and model train scale people.
My jars came with the classic silver lids, but I found these red ones sold separately and they were perfect for Christmas. You could easily spray paint the lids that came with to any color you want. To make the jars, first decide what you want your scene to look like and maybe do a dry run before putting on the glue to make sure it all fits. Your snow globe scene will be glued to the inside of the lid, so can’t go too far to the edge of the lid or the jar can’t screw on. Once you know where you want everything, put a little bit of glue on each item and press it to the lid. Hold it there for about twenty seconds and then it should be set. Once everything is glued down, it needs to sit for about four hours to dry and set.
Once your scene is set, fill your jar with distilled water. You can use tap water too, but distilled is just a little clearer. Next I poured about two teaspoons of glycerin in and shook in some glitter and fake snow- I used about two pinches of glitter in mine and maybe one tablespoon of fake snow. Over the sink (in case any water leaks out), screw your lid onto your jar, and give it a shake! On two jars I added a ribbon for a finishing touch.
I got so many compliments on the snow globes, our guest loved them! To accent the mason jar snow globes, I put matching bottle bristle trees mixed in with the Boxwood and the cute vintage Coca-Cola bottle holder adds a little bit of height without blocking anyone’s view. I love bottle bristle trees, they remind me of the 1940’s. I put a few glass Coca-Cola and Sprite bottles in the bottle holder, they look old, but they’re just the glass ones sold in the soda aisle. Our store has them year long, but almost every store sells them at Christmas.
Each place setting at the table had a paper plate and a cute little wreath with all the utensils and napkins. I wanted to use paper products to save time, but still have a personal, nice touch. I simply bought wreath ornaments, removed the hangers, and tied a plastic fork and spoon to them with pretty ribbon. Set on top of a folded napkin, it makes every seat look pretty. I wanted to let guest choose their seats but you could easily add pretty little name cards on the wreaths if you wanted to assign places for your guest. These are a great thing to put together a few days before your party, or even a week, that way you are free to focus on your guest on the day of your party.
The guest we were inviting would all be bringing kids and my kids would be at our party too, so I wanted to have a kid table with everything the adult table had but in miniature. I took my extra boxwood branches and swooped them around the center of the table, hiding the ends under the leaves and then placed another home-made snow globe in the center. For the kids snow globe, I did everything the same but I used a Lego Christmas Tree set instead of bottle bristle trees and used a plastic jar.
Sawyer loved getting to help make this one, and the kids loved playing with it at the table.
Instead of glass Sprite bottles on the tables, I placed a mini Sprite can at each seat and made miniature Christmas trucks for each guest that looked liked the one on the food table. To make the trucks, I simply used the same mini-bottle bristle trees I bought for the snow globes, cut the stands off, and gorilla glued them in the bed of red match box trucks I bought. Kids always need some kind of fun activity to do whether they are waiting to eat or are just done faster than others. The kids were excited to see them and had a great time driving them around and playing with each other with them.
To decorate the food table, I used vintage Coca-Cola crates to add levels and height. It always looks more decorative if you have something other than just food on the table. I stayed with the color palette of the Coca-Cola crates white and red by using all white dishes and the red crates and truck mixed in. On the food table I mixed in really big and really little bottle bristle trees and some neutral candle sticks where ever there were holes.
Now here was the best part of prepping for our dinner party- I didn’t make a single bit of this food. Walmart and Coca-Cola have teamed up this holiday season to offer great already prepared meals that also give back. For every deli meal bought, Walmart and Coca-Cola will work to provide warm meals for needy families through the Salvation Army. The Christmas season is about being with family and giving back and I love that they are focusing on that and making it so easy just by purchasing their great food.
For our party, I headed to the Walmart deli and grabbed Sprite, coleslaw, sandwiches, fried chicken, chips, salad, pinwheels, and french bread and grabbed a delicious cake from the bakery while I was there. I never have time to cook a full party meal during the holidays, but the food from Walmart so good that it didn’t even matter. To make it feel more home-made and hide how incredibly easy it was to do, I simply put the deli meal into my own serve ware. Here’s the before and after so you can see-
This spinach dip was sooo good and I just cut up the French bread to dip in it. I think the spinach dip was the biggest hit!
I loved being able to focus on our guest and not have to worry about being in the kitchen the whole time. Knowing I didn’t have to prepare a meal meant I had more time to do cute decorations and sit and enjoy the food with my friends and family!
I had so much fun finally having a Christmas party thanks to Walmart and Coca-Cola and love that it gave back to needy families. You can help families in need too, not just by purchasing a Walmart prepared deli meal with Coca-Cola products, but also by sharing a picture of your family enjoying it with the hashtag #GiveHappiness to spread awareness about the great work they are doing this year!