Every year, the final evening is a dinner and dance with a special theme and decorations. Past years have had everything from the Academy Awards to Paris to a Circus, complete with an indoor tent! It was my first year volunteering on this committee and I didn't fully anticipate how much of my time it would consume. Regardless, I love planning parties, especially for children and those with a whimsical theme, so while time intensive it was, it was also a lot of fun! Here are some pictures of the final evening. It took us two full days, with 25 amazing volunteers, to create this forest and watching the reaction on the kid's faces when they walked in made every second of the preparations worth it. I have to admit that this is nicer than my prom. :)
^^ Hanging the lanterns was the most challenging part of the set up. We had failed attempts with fishing line and twine, but laundry line rope worked like a charm. The lanterns were attached with zip ties and each had a light battery pack that had to be turned on before the dance. I dreaded that part a bit, but honestly it wasn't bad at all. Took maybe 15 minutes to light all 60 lanterns.^^
^^ Got to love that photo bomber behind us! :) ^^
^^ Half of the tables were covered in green and white checked tablecloths with log stumps and handmade bird houses, adorned with painted paper leaves and wooden birds.^^
^^ The other half were topped with burlap runners, hurricanes filled with twigs and little mason jar hanging lanterns.^^
^^ We had a crafting afternoon at my house where we made these paper flowers. I wonder if any of the kids noticed them? Haha. They were so pretty though.^^
^^ There were foxes, owls, toadstools and little red bird cookies for favors. ^^
^^ I'm glad I got to play a part in making the evening a special one for my boy and his classmates and friends. He didn't seem to totally hate that I was there either, making it even better. ^^
A very special thank you to Anthropologie for generously donating their December window display to us. Their painted leaves and bird houses were the jumping off point for the decor. We had to make a few bird houses ourselves and they were a tedious affair. We were so very thankful for all the contributed!
Also, thank you to Blue Ox Tree Service for the collection of tree stumps. They have cared for our trees for 8+ years and are one of our favorite local businesses. If you are in the area, you will not find better tree care or knowledge.