What’s a great way to get some kids together to celebrate the holidays and share your culture? You throw a Christmas party with a Latin flair! Throughout the years, I’ve been called the “hostess with the mostess.” You see as a mom of one and living away from family and friends I made it a point to join a playgroup when my son was a preschooler. Making friends with the moms meant that my son would have playmates and friends too! I’ve enjoyed organizing cultural parties and playdates! Nonetheless, this Christmas party is by far one of my favorites.
I invited a group of my son’s friends and asked their parents to drop them off around 11 a.m. and to pick them up around 2 p.m.
The kids learned about Las Posadas and crafted a baby Jesus a (crèche) manger. They learned about the Los Reyes Magos tradition (Three Kings/Wise Men) and made crowns. Each had their very own parranda coloring book, and I loved how my son talked about Las Parrandas and how it’s done in Puerto Rico. They tasted Puerto Rican coquito, sang songs, and reenacted a posada. They played outdoors and lighted up sparklers. For lunch I had the food set-up as a buffet: tamales, quesadillas, taquitos de pollo, hot dogs (for those kids that don’t want to eat Latin food), Puerto Rican sandwiches, chips, cupcakes, and fresh fruit. They could fix their own plates and eat what they wish.
Let’s start with the food! This is the spread we had for the kids. I’ll share the recipes below.
Next up the crafts!! My parties and gatherings always have cultural crafts involved. We had two craft stations: Baby Jesus in the manger and the magi crown. We split the kids into two groups.
Station 1: One of the moms helped me with the Baby Jesus in the manger. I can’t recall where she found the instructions on how to make one but here’s one that is pretty close to it.
Station 2: Making crowns as the magi wore. I used strips of colored paper and a stapler.
The centerpiece was a basket full of Puerto Rican candy with a guiro, maracas and little jíbaro felt dolls. The table was set up in a way that each child had their personalized cup, a decorated pine cone to take home, and a parranda coloring book that I purchased from Mommy Maestra’s TPT page. You can find it here. For the coloring books, I had small mason jars filled with crayons on the table as well. I had a tray table set-up with some take-home goodies.
The mom helping me is from Mexico and she helped with a reenactment of a posada with the kids. We had a few of the kids inside the house (they were the innkeepers) and she stepped outside with the other kids pretending to be the pilgrims (los peregrinos) holding a lantern with a battery-operated candle. They took turns singing and then the innkeeper (kids inside) opened the door and welcomed the pilgrims inside.
Kids had a blast! They took home goody bags, their very own pine cone owl, and a giant Christmas pencil plus the crown and the baby manger they made.
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