So, I fell into a role with Little Apple Families. My ‘title’ is large group events coordinator. Basically, its event planning for small childrens holiday parties. I will unashamedly admit, I absolutely love doing it. Do I go overboard? Likely. My hubs, mom, boss and fellow leadership team members would probably agree. Do I get credit for being self-aware? Hahaha. As they say, “do what makes you happy.” And it does. I am beyond thankful the team is eager to help. My family also rocks. Dane will occasionally admit he enjoys some of the crafting. My mom loves it no question.
Truly, I think the best part is that it helps E more prepared for everything that happens at these things the day of. Which in turn I feel makes the entire experience go smoother for both of us, sometimes dad too! Not only that but we get to experience each holiday longer, talk about them more, prepare earlier. Now it seems we enjoy the actual day of Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc. because I was planning, preparing and READY before the last event or holiday was finished.
Loads of work at least in the research and planning department. But little man likes watching me cut, sew, draw, paint, glue, destroy my house clean my house eat sleep repeat. I occasionally let him sew which may be his favorite. 🤷♀️. I bet its the machine and I spent so long trying to jeep him away from it.
There are challenges involved with everything that goes into it. I actually like limitations. It requires me to get creative and solve problems. First and would have to be budget. We have a decent budget. However, we have 5 large group events to host throughout the year. Valentines, The local Saint Patricks Day Parade, an Easter egg hunt, Trunk-or-Treat, a Winter Holiday Party and a few potlucks in between. Besides new members who join throughout the year we collect dues at the beginning of the year and our last party is our largest expense. Special guests and venues can be expensive! So we have to mindful of doing things on the cheap all year long.
The next biggest challenge would be durability (not even going to talk about storing this stuff but storage is a factor). I have to make things that will last through 60 some kids. Creating things I have no attachment to but that I think will be enjoyed and are worth the time and effort if it doesn’t survive. I don’t need to be secretly crying on the inside over kids party items. This stuff has to be something I truly mind the destruction of. After the first event I helped organize I learned to anticipate damage.
Speaking of lessons learned, at last years Holiday party I realized I hadn’t planned very well. There was no accounting for the amount of work set up. No plan of attack. No concept of how much time it would take to set up. Lets also acknowledge I was not mindful of how long cleanup would take either. 🙄 We had too many crafts, too many tables, too many chairs out, to then put away. I had activities I made that didn’t get set up because I brought decor that took too long to set up. And all of us had small children in tow.
Valentines went smoother. I was for sure more cognizant of set up time, cleanup time and scaled back on how many crafts. This saved me prep time and I learned to start planning crafting deciding well in advance. Evolution? I’m evolving right? Maybe developing & improving are better words to describe the process.
So here I am about a month out from the Winter Holiday Party. Nearly everything is planned out.
Date ✅ Time ✅ Venue ✅ 🎅🏽 ✅ Activities✅ Crafts nearly decided just need narrowed down and I think we’re on track to have costs at HALF of last years!
I even was a crazy person who went and measured the venue. In my defense, I wanted to see how I could set up activities. Where they should be and how much space I should allot….I want set up to happen quickly. I may have mapped it all out too …as long as my spacing for table and chairs is on target I think It’ll all fit.
Not only do I have set up & tear down goals, I also have goals for how much crap I lug with me.
My goals for this Winter Party are:
- one tote for food supplies
– we provide napkins, plates, cups, silverware
- One tote/box for decor
- One tote for crafts
– Which may fit in the same tote as decor and activities!!!!
- One chair
- One tree
- And a few items that cannot be boxed or toted.
I’ll confess I have spent my own money on a few things here and there. I try to only do that for things I think would be fun to have as a family over the years, or for E to take to school parties. So far this year I’ve only spent $27. Hot glue being a big chunk of that. My crafter box is becoming hefty. And I’ve set my sights on a Cricut. Maybe, I’ll sell some of my crafts some day on etsy. I have the perfect focus group to test quality, functionality, and interest level. 🥳
Here are sone photos of past events. Keep in mind not a lot of time can be spent taking pinterest worthy photos. and sometimes photos at all. 🤦🏽♀️