For the past 6 years, it has been my privilege and joy to host our South Bay staff Christmas Party. What started as a dinner for three families in our little apartment back in 2008 has grown into a full-scale event with a catered dinner, themed decor, and sixty people! This year topped the charts with our first ever costume party.
Andy & I wanted our staff to know how much we love and appreciate each of them. They are heroes in our eyes and deserve to be honored and celebrated! So we came up with the idea of doing a Hollywood themed party and have a night to "Celebrate our South Bay Stars".
We asked everyone to come dressed as a Hollywood star, past or present. We realized that coming up with a costume idea had the potential to be a little overwhelming, so to give people extra motivation and incentive, we included a huge prize! The person voted to have the Best Overall costume would win a one night trip for two to Hollywood! And, boy, did our staff deliver! We laughed until our stomachs hurt as people really got into character, both with their costumes and personalities.
I lucked out with some of the decor as there just happened to be someone on Craig's List selling all of her decorations from her Hollywood themed wedding! I bought from her the clapboards, film reels, ceramic popcorn containers, ostrich feathers & vases, and a few other odds and ends.
- Centerpieces: I taped together two pieces of black cardstock, cut and tri-folded them to be 5x7, and then affixed a black & white photograph of old Hollywood stars on each side. I placed it on top of a round mirror sprinkled with snow and a few tealights. For the finishing touch I put a small hurricane vase with a Christmas floral arrangement in the center of the tri-folded paper.
- Name place cards: Purchased here.
- Beaded curtains behind dessert table: Purchased here.
We had our friends (and fellow South Bay-ers) from Whimsical Booth set up a Hollywood themed photo-op for us. The pictures were printed on what looked like film reels. So cute!
It is such a joy to give each staff child a present from South Bay and to tell them what a valuable part of the South Bay team they are. Always a highlight of the evening!
These adorable Hollywood stars were designed by my friend, Ashleigh. The children loved that they each had a star with their name on it! The walk of stars greeted everyone as they came in the room.
Our food, which I sadly have no pictures of, was catered by Caterman Catering. They did a fantastic job. Jasmine Santa Cruz catered the yummiest mini dessert bar for us including creme brûlée, tiramisu, cake pops, banana pudding, peppermint brownies, pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing, and cookies! Incredible! I can neither confirm nor deny that I ate (at least) one of each!
As our stars arrived, they walked down the red carpet where paparazzi snapped their photos.
The stars were greeted by our "Butler" who offered them something bubbly to drink.
After dinner, the kiddos went to play and watch a movie while we handed out mock-"Oscars" to the adults, played a few rounds of group charades (which was a riot!), and announced the winners of the costume competition.
It was nearly impossible to know who to vote for, but alas, the time had come for everyone to cast their ballots. The categories included: Best Overall (winner of grand prize trip to Hollywood), Best Couple, Most Creative, and Most Accurate Portrayal. Each of the other winners received gift cards for dinner and a movie.
And the winners are...
Tim & Jasmine Castagna who came as "The Artist", a black & white film
Vivian Dorflinger starring as "Effie" from Hunger Games
Most Accurate Portrayal:
Filipe Santos starring as Edward Cullen from Twilight
(Filipe was really creepy and didn't smile all night. He just stared deep into your eyes like he was thinking of how much he'd like to suck your blood!)
Kendall Hibiske starring as Cruella Deville
(This picture does not even do justice to how good her costume was! She was hilarious...kept walking around saying in a very disturbing voice, "I'm looking for my puppies!" And then laughing a sinister laugh. She was too much!)
Christmas presents for the kiddos. Our first Christmas party we had 3 kids. This year we had 23!
(Side note: I had all these presents bought, wrapped, and stored in my closet since October! Had to get things done before Karis was born!!!)
I love these crazy people and I am fiercely loyal to them. They lead with courage, serve in ways no one ever knows, and work tirelessly to advance the Kingdom! They are fun, anointed, passionate, and love Jesus with all their hearts. It is such an honor to be apart of a team like this!
Merry Christmas, Folks!