So, our Small World party wasn’t as Mary-Blair-ish as I wanted it to be. But I did have two little nods to Mary Blair’s colorfulness. These cute signs I hung on the front door are actually embellishments from Britt-ish Designs and turned out so cute when I just straight printed them! I also made these adorable shrinky dink keychains for all the kids but as we were putting them together? The holes weren’t big enough for the chains we bought. Sigh. It was a good idea.
Besides that, this party turned out even better than I hoped!
After all the fun travel around the world games, we gathered into our living room, where we normally open presents. I explained to the kids that Lydia asked everyone to bring gifts for Operation Christmas Child so instead of opening those gifts, we were going to get to know who and what Operation Christmas Child is!
We watched this FABU video that covers everything from kids in the US packing boxes to elephants delivering them in India to kids opening the boxes in countries around the world. As I watched that video and the kids spellbound, laughing and enjoying every second, I got tears in my eyes. What a beautiful, easy way to push greed off our hearts and hands! What a beautiful, easy way to love others!
The video ended with “Merry Christmas” but instead, we turned to Lydia and sang, “Happy Birthday”. My sweet girl. I’m so proud of her.
Then, it was time for cupcakes (from Whole Foods) and more food. I really thought it was going to be easy to find famous around-the-world-birthday dishes. Alas, either I couldn’t find it or I couldn’t make it (hello marzipan fruits from Brazil!). So, I enlisted my Disney Moms Panel mamas and asked them to take a mental trip around Epcot to help me think of some good food!
And they SO delivered. Well, not technically. I still had to go to the grocery to snag the food. And mainly? It was every kind of bread-type food with sugar on it–just with a different country’s flair.
We had Mexican taquitos, Chinese egg rolls and fortune cookies, Italian cake, German pretzels, French pastries and macrons, Australian fairy bread and one lone pineapple from Hawaii.
And when I say Mexican, Chinese, Italian, German, etc. you know I really mean “the freezer aisle at Wal-Mart”, right? Our other genius idea was to hit up World Market’s Christmas clearance. We got all kinds of yummy candies and cookies for like 45 cents each.
Finally, after the kids dumped all their Operation Christmas Child gifts on the couch and played with the Eiffel tower cups a few more times, it was time to go home. Everyone walked away with their own Operation Christmas Child shoebox (I picked them up at our local OCC office) as their goody bag–inside was a cracker, a piece of candy (found both of ’em for 75% off at World Market) and an inflatable globe! And hopefully, they’ll keep the box to pack for themselves this year.
It ended up being one of my favorite parties ever (I’m sure I say that every year) because of the sweet lack of presents and bustling, round the world fun. I’m so proud of my big 9 year old and can’t wait to see how her 100 boxes experience goes this year! Happy Birthday, sweet Lydia!
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