When I was younger, I went to lunch with my best friend, Katie, her sister, Molly, her Mom, Alice (who was always my second mother). We just went to Chili's and we were meeting Alice's cousin, Ginger. It was December and Ginger had brought 3 cube shaped boxes that had a lovely Christmas pattern and it looked sorta fancy. Inside was tissue paper and inside the tissue paper lining were red and green M&Ms. I often think about this small gift because to me it was so special. Just taking M&Ms and putting them in a fancy box! That has stuck with me and I know from experience that children love something special and a little out of the ordinary. Life has a way of being not so magical, so any chance you can sprinkle some whimsy and magic, do it.
I wanted the invitations to set the mood for excitement. I took my trusty 5' of cardboard, of which I always seem to have an ample supply, and I measured and cut a house. I used that one house as my template for the others. Each window and the door open and I printed out hand-written party details and pasted behind! I then wrapped each one in Christmas paper and twine and attached a tag with their name. One Monday evening, before Thanksgiving, I drove Breana and her friend, Shelley, to each girl's house where (the girls call it "ding dong ditch") they dropped the invitation, rang the doorbell and ran back to our getaway car where I was still at the wheel. It was too much fun! And we loved seeing the text messages pour in minutes after we'd drive off.
Crazy me thought I'd make hard candy windows that I'd pour in and they harden, but alas that ole clock was ticking away and adjustments had to be made. No candy windows. A last minute idea was to fill them with tinsel garland and colored lights instead and I'm pleased with how this turned out. Another substitute was using hot glue in lieu of a caramel syrup "glue". What a time saver this was! I don't recommend this if you plan on eating your house, but seriously who builds a house and eats it? Something you've handled and then it sits out? Nobody likes dried-out, hard cake and chewy, crusty, sticky candy... do they? Our houses were designed for display only. Let's just hope the warm days steer clear here in Georgia and there are no ants in sight. And finally, because I didn't want our roofs caving in, I used cardboard, and along for the base, too. The openings on the backs of the houses were for inserting the garland and string lights. Before setting the table, I taped red wrapping paper onto to it so my table didn't turn into a furniture piece from Hansel & Gretel.