Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Kids' Table — The Feast 2011

This year's theme allowed me to channel the inner kid within this 51-year-old constitution. And it came quite easily, a pleasant reminder that I'm only as old as I feel.  I decided to do The Kids' Table, a light-hearted theme that I knew would bring instant childlike abandonment to all those at the table.

I begin thinking of a theme for the next Feast right after one ends. And once I settle on an idea, then that leaves me a year to plan and craft. This year's was actually pretty easy. Instead of our usual drop-cloth tablecloths, I used plastic, and covered the table in one long sheet of white butcher paper, the idea being for everyone to write on the table using crayons and markers (hence the plastic underneath). To hold all the markers and crayons, I covered tin cans in yarn and in brown craft paper decorated with puff balls and pipe cleaners. I had forgotten just how fun it is to craft with pipe cleaners! It didn't matter that you could see tape holding the craft paper in place . . . it is the Kids' Table after all.
 Each place was set with a large oval dinner plate and brown paper napkins rolled around utensils and secured with pipe cleaner napkin rings, each uniquely different (which we girls all turned into rings, dahling). Some of the rings had a Dr. Suess quality to them.
 Down the center of the table I used oil lamps and small tealight candles.

Since this year we had a number of guests from outside the office, I made nametags, gluing writing/alphabet paper onto cardstock, adhering felt pilgrims (had both boy and girl figures with different colors of hair), using yarn to make a necklace, and then writing the names using Sharpies. Everyone proudly wore them . . . a big hit.
No Kids' Table is truly for children unless it has a crepe paper folding turkey.
 I put signs out everywhere to stage where everything goes, and then throw away the signs as items make their way to their proper place. Next year (especially if we have guests like we did this year), I'm going to have to create prettier labels that serve to ID the food (not just help me get organized).
 The Publix pilgrim salt and pepper shakers show up in the kitchen on the Monday of our Feast week, a reminder of what's to come!
 And we have this morbid (but so very fun) tradition of doing a weigh-in before and after the meal. I won't go into all the details; you get the idea. (I do post all the results from past years.)

 We even start the day with homemade goodies. These bacon date scones were a new addition this year and much loved.
 Tod, our president, bringing out one of two 20 lb. birds.
 And of course we MUST make crisp white cuffs for their little legs.
 And you can see in the upper left . . . a treat I made for everyone. Setting on a construction paper leaf, two "acorns" made from a Hershey kiss, a mini vanilla wafer (held in place with a smidge of peanut butter) and then topped off with a "stem" of peanut butter created with a decorating tip on a pastry bag. Found this idea on Pinterest. If anyone has a genius idea for how to transport these, please do tell.
 Here I am in my Christmas shirt. Such a freak.
 Everyone gets in line to scoop up all the homemade goodness. Tod is carving at the head of the buffet table, taking requests for white vs. dark.

 At the beginning of the meal I encouraged everyone to decorate the paper cloth and not to worry about spills and drops. That's half the charm.

 Tod acknowledging our guests, our blessings (he's got last year's "thankfuls" in his hands as a reminder that every year we have so much to be grateful for) and the meal to come!
I plan on displaying the table art this coming Monday. And I'm onto next year's planning! (For past Feasts, see my event list on the right column for links to their posts.)

And thanks to Buzz Busbee for taking most of these photos!


Christine said...

I always look forward to your Annual Feast!!!

Your creativeness and talent are so unique. This years Feast was, again, great!
You must love your job.

Celestial Charms said...

What a delightful event, made all the more special with your well planned details. Wonderful photos certainly caught the magic.
Have a great day.

Kb_Mal said...

I love it - this may be my fave theme yet!

Elizabeth said...

What a great party Dawn!! Love all of it, down to the acorn favors :) What a fun theme, and I bet everyone had a great time.

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