Nightmare Before Christmas Party

A fun twist for an Over the Hill party just before Christmas.
A Nightmare Before Christmas Party
My friend Holly has done it again. She simply suggested a great reason to party and look what unveiled! Her husband Curtis turns 50 this year and back in June we talked about throwing him a surprise party. We immediately thought A Nightmare Before Christmas themed party because he truly would be experiencing a nightmare just before Christmas. After a couple of hectic holiday months we picked things back up just a week before the scheduled date. I think I work better under pressure!
Holly might hate me for sharing this with you but I must! Holly is one BIG stress ball when it comes to party planning. It’s actually quite funny when she calls me in the early morning hours a few days before the party saying she wants to cancel the party because it’s just too much ( mind you this was a party just before Christmas, so time and money was an issue!) I intervened a little party therapy and explained to her my best party planning on a buget ideas and we are so glad we decided to keep this party in action because it turned out fabulous for Curtis!
Over the Hill
Poor Curtis, though he was dreading his upcoming birthday we were super excited to pull this all together. A surprise, Over the Hill, Nightmare before Christmasy birthday bash! This was something I put together for him, naming Curtis ‘The Senior King’.
The Senior King
Space can be a challenge when your guest list reaches about 20! I’m confident this party would have worked well at Holly’s house but since I am fortunate to have a dance studio in my basement I kindly offered to share the space and put it to good use. I love to see it transform into different themes so when I have the opportunity to party I run with it.
I decided on a black and white theme and Holly picked red to highlight. Between the two of us we had enough items already on hand to decorate our party. So think of the colors you already have at home when deciding on a party color.
Also, there’s no harm in sharing! Your close friends may have party items that would be perfect for your theme, like a beautiful cake platter, pretty punch bowl or even tables and chairs. Just handle with care and return the party favor and watch your party bill drop to the single digits! OK not that low but you get the idea.
Welcome to Your Nightmare
A friend let us use this beautifully decorated ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ wreath. Score for us! A borrowed item that one normally would not have lying around or even find at a local store.
Table Setting
Since Heidi and I have a HUGE Halloween stash already on hand, there wasn’t much for Holly to buy and I was so happy and excited to help her bring it all together. Party planning makes me happy! It makes me even happier when I can help someone see the joy in it and make gala memories of thier own. Thank goodness Holly only lives next door because it sure seemed like we had half her house at mine!
We decide to use nice dinner plates and glasses. Yes, you must be thinking what an awful clean up it must have been but it really wasn’t all that bad when you have her three girls doing the dishes!!! OK, we all know kids…Thanks Holly for doing my dishes!
Red dinner chargers were popular, so between Holly, Heidi and myself we had enough beautiful red chargers for each of our guests. Black napkins became Jack Skellington’s bow tie and our sugar cookies were fun party favors.
Drink Up
A simple plastic clear cup would have been fine, but since Heidi has cursed me with a glass collection I had to put them to use! If you think I’m crazy to have a variety of drinking glasses you should see Heidi’s stash! I’m not even close! The best part is these (well most!) were purchased at the dollar store. We rimmed each glass with red sugar crsytals and added a fun candy canes to boost our Christmasy feel.
Special Setting
Our guest of honor had his own setting at the head of the table. A silver charger ( to match that beautiful head of grey hair, ha ha!) and a funny mini caution sign set on top of a black plate.
These super simple centerpieces were one of my favorite. I think it totally tied all our themes together.
Somebody’s Watching Me
We recycled Holly’s oatmeal containers and used a few of my scrap material and ribbon.
Holly’s daughters helped me pick some fallen twigs down the street and spray paint them black. We shared some Christmas baubles and black crows to hang.
Look at what we pulled together without even adding a whole lot to the party bill!
Party Decor
Holly’s trip to the party store was a score when it came to shopping for Over the Hill stuff. Believe it or not she only purchased four party items. Suckers, balloons, a mini caution sign and a 50 brithday sign.
I love these suckers! I used my candle holders, flipped them over and filled with sugar to hold the suckers in.
I thought I needed one more detail to run down our dinner table. These quotes made for great conversation!
Our 50 birthday sign was just above our buffet table. Since it does snow in the movie, we had to add a few snowflakes here and there. The girls hung plastic $1.00 store snowflakes that they already had on hand.
I used a few of those black twigs to attach some funny homemade Over the Hill signs!
No helium? No worries, just stick to the wall with tape and there you have it!
Since it is Christmas we brought in Holly’s Christmas decorations like this white poinsetta plant!
Holly’s mini Christmas tree already decorated with white crystals.
Sassy Condolense Table
This was a fun way to allow our guests to pay their last respects to Curtis’ youth! As a gift I gave Curtis this scrapbook album. Guests were able to share their thoughts for him and later Holly could add some pictures to cherish those special memories.
Heidi had THE Jack Skellington head. We had to use and top it off with a santa hat!
This was a fun Over the Hill Certificate I found on line and created my own.
A fun memory scrapbook because we definitely don’t want Curtis forgetting what a blast he had!
Holly asked her guests to bring an appetizer of thier choice to share before Curtis arrived. I thought this was a financially smart solution to keeping her budget under control. Guests of course were family and friends who are always willing to help in any way and food is always a plus on my list.
These chips were not on my list when shopping at the grocery store, but I had to buy them! Red chips to fit in with our splash of color! An awesome find at perfect timing.
Holly decided on shredded pork roast, mashed potatoes, and a salad for dinner. This was a nice dinner and super easy to prep for a surprise. Just throw the roast in a crock pot and serve and serve in the same pot! Can you believe Holly prepped all this at home and Curtis did not even question her once. MEN!
Dessert Table
Holly knew she wanted these mints filled in a glass vase, I just added a laugh!
These mints are another favorite!
I love the way these crows fit right in!
This store bought chocolate cake is a tradition for Curtis’ birthday. So we saved some baking time and added a home made birthday sign.
Brownies drizzled with white chocolate. Easy and perfectly themed. Here’s a simple recipe for ‘lighter’ brownies! I’m still questioning the lighter!
Lighter Brownies
3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbl unsalted butter
2 tbl low fat sour cream
1 tbl low calorie chocolate syrup
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch baking dish with foil so it hangs over the sides and coat with nonstick cooking spray, set aside. In a small bowl blend flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a meduim size microwave safe bowl, microwave chocolate abnd butter for 40 seconds until melted, stirring halfway through. Stir until smooth heating in 15 second increments if needed. Cool 2 minutes then whisk in sour cream, chocolate, chocolate syrup, vanilla, egg, egg white and sugar. Stir in flour.┬áSpread batter onto prepared pan and bake at 350 for 25 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove brownie from pan using foil handles. Cut into squares.
I think it’s best to separate your areas for crowd control. I threw in a laugh with this, ‘The Ultimate Elixir of Youth’.

Snap Shot Fun!

Another party favorite is picture time! I used this fun photo shoot idea to give our guests a laugh. This was also an opportunity for Holly to later thank her guests for coming by sending them a thank you along with a fun picture to cherish.
I had some 3D glasses on hand, so I popped out the lenses and glued old man eye brows cut out of grey scrapbook paper. I glued the mustash to a wooden skewer.
I’m loving these pictures! Super simple and look at how much fun it was.
I’m so glad we pulled this off and Holly survived the party planning! Another great party, another gala to cherish!
My favorite quote,
“It’s important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle!”
Happy Birthday Curits!

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