The Peanuts holiday specials have been my favorites since I was young so it was inevitable that my children would share my love. This year I decided to host a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party and playdate for some of the neighborhood children. The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving television special and the book based on the television special were my inspiration. My kids know the story well so when I asked them what snacks they thought we should serve to our guests my four year olds promptly responded “Popcorn, pretzel sticks, jelly beans, toast, and oh don’t forget the ice cream!” Easy enough, right? I don’t think we’ve ever hosted an event with such an easy menu. The party is still 9 hours away but the table is set, the adult appetizers are prepped, and we’re ready for a fun afternoon to kick off the holiday season.
Theme: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving playdate and crafting afternoon
Decorations: Our house is somewhat decorated for the Thanksgiving and fall season so any additional decorations for the party were minimal. Narrowing down my color theme was my biggest challenge. I decided to use orange and white polka dot accents with brown, cream, and orange as the main theme throughout. The decorations really took the most time but fortunately they have a long shelf life so I was able to craft in the evenings and on weekends when I could make the time. “Give Thanks” banner was something I made at the local craft store using colored paper and the diecut machine. The napkin rings were something I saw on Pinterest and fell in love with. The napkin rings are round rings of paper with circles of the children’s faces topped with black pilgrim hats. A neighborhood mom has a new Silhouette machine and was happy to cut out a few hats for the occassion. The pilgrim hat favors were something I ordered on Etsy.com and filled with a few Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers and candies. The rest of the table decorations include a plastic tablecloth to make clean up easy, the Mayflower centerpiece from Pottery Barn Kids, and placecards. I found the placecard idea using burlap on Pottery Barn Kids website under the holiday party idea section.
Food and Beverage: The food and beverages for this party is pretty simple for the kids because I wanted to stick as closely to the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving as possible. So, popcorn, pretzel sticks, jelly beans, and toast are on the menu. I also added mini turkey sandwiches, sugar cookies decorated to look like pumpkins and turkeys and Thanksgiving Blessing Mix. The Thanksgiving Blessing Mix was an idea I saw on one of my favorite party planning sites and includes a sweet poem explaining the ingredients in the mix and what it represents. For example, Bugles look like cornocopia or Horns of Plenty and signify the abundance we enjoy and Candy Corn remind us of the first winter the pilgrims experienced when they had to ration just 5 kernels of corn a day to make it through the harsh winter. for the adults I am serving a slightly more sophisticated menu which includes stuffed dates, chili cashews, brie with apricot tartlets and Moroccan chicken crostinis. For dessert I made individual pumpkin tiramisus, cookies, and caramels. Of course there will be “cocktail time” for the adults too with wine and an Irish Pumpkin Pie cocktail made with Bailey’s and Pumpkin Pie vodka – yum!
Favors: For this party each child will go home with a few things including their craft projects, their placecard and napkin ring, pilgrim hat with candy, a cookie, and Thanksgiving Blessing Mix if they haven’t already eaten it by the end of the party.
I am thankful for my husband and my three children and am happy to be able to share this fun tradition of watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving each year as a family. Happy Thanksgiving!