I was in charge of our church’s Christmas party last week. This assignment came with the challenge of making over a nondescript hall with essentially zero budget. The theme for the party was “Christmas Around the World” and when I found all this on Pinterest, I was inspired to use maps everywhere.
My favorite detail was the “Joy to the World” map that hung behind the buffet table — an idea from HGTV’s Secrets from a Stylist star Emily Henderson’s holiday guide (see p. 43). To make it: I ordered an inexpensive laminated wall map and added lettering. I used vinyl lettering cut with a sign cutter, but you could also stencil it.
By the way, I have to share that I was totally impressed with American Crafts new Double-Sided Super Sticky Red Tape — they sent us some to try out, and I put just 10 pieces on the back of that HUGE map and stuck it to a painted block wall. We setup in the morning, and my committee and I were taking bets on whether it would still be hanging when we came back for the party that night. To my surprise not only was it still hanging, but it held tight through the whole party. They say that even glitter sticks to the tape — can’t wait to try that out!
For the table centerpieces we did a runner using crepe paper streamers that we had ruffled like so. We also threw on some silver bead garlands and then placed groupings of these adorable “Map trees” made out of free maps from our local AAA office. (Did you know maps are free for AAA members?) The inspiration for the cone trees came from a recent article in Family Fun magazine.
We cut the maps down to various sizes (so we’d have different sized trees) and then rolled them up into a cone shape. Not sure why I got such a kick out of this little fact: each cone takes just ONE piece of tape to secure — even the large cones. (Talk about being frugal, right?!)
Using pages from an outdated atlas we cut a bunch of triangle pennants to sew together into a bunting to go along the hall’s stage with another line of more ruffled streamers.
The event also included a grouping of Christmas trees decorated from around the world, a beautiful display of international nativities, a sweet musical nativity program put on by the children and of course a visit from Old St. Nick.
I was surprised and impressed that baby Modette didn’t cry at all while on Santa’s lap! What do your kids think of Santa Claus?15