Since I was setting the scene of a ski resort at the office, the lower photo with Santa starts with arriving at the town and with holiday shoppers. (You can click on any photo to enlarge it. The second scene is the bus arriving at the lodge with skiers in the background. In the top scenes, farther into the office, above the couch, is the skating
lodge with ice skaters taking up all four panels.
To add to the outdoor theme, I made 12 6" x 8 foot birch trees from wall insulation. I painted all sides white, then marked them with black sharpies. I bought white birch branches on Amazon and poked holes in them to add the branches to the stems. (The staff and guests LOVED these. In above photo you can see the inexpensive coat rack I bought on Amazon, but used as a ski rack. Add a few artificial trees, and I set the scene.
Every lodge needs a fireplace. The company who prints them made them too short, but I used them anyway. I had a wooden frame from a contruction project that was 5' x 5'.
I added another piece of trim for the mantle, black science boards, birch logs, and flashing lights for the front of the poster. The moose is one of my new aquistions. He was a popular guy at the party.
Here is an up close look at the fireplace. That is yellow cellophane I've wrapped around
remote controls flashing lights.
The MIN EVENT which the office participated in for the 3 days previous to the party, was a dog sled event. Our dog sled was built with a 24" x 45" handled dolly. I velcroed a
stadium seat to the back and added a pillow. Please notice the pool noodle velcroed to
the front to protect the office walls. We have a very long and wide main hall that lends
itself to these rides. If you will also notice there are two snowball launchers and a box
of bean bag snowballs that are going along for the ride.
How do the dogs tie in? I am glad you asked.
The dogs are waiting to be fed at the feeding station. I bought two fold-able step stools.
I recycled 12 empty 20oz pineapple cans and made new husky dog food labels. Have you figured out that they are going to use the launchers and snowballs to knock them over.
Since this is a timed event, they were given points for their speed added to the number of points for each can knocked over. The oil pan actually worked for catching most of
the snowballs. Each team had to pick them back up after riding through the kitchen, around the tree, and back to the start.
BUT...after the first day of runs, they were still going way to fast. Hubby was afraid of someone getting hurt, so we needed a way to slow them down.
We adapted this game for just the office pre-run. I had large hoops you had to throw around the goat's head. It worked. No points, but it slowed them down. This area
was the ski resort's PETTING ZOO. You had to get the baby animals back in the pen by their mamas. There were 3 babies per mama. I brought the Chicken Toss back from last year. Instead of throwing rubber eggs, you just tossed the baby chicks in their "nest" baskets. Each basket has a different points value. I bought this game on Amazon for the beach. It comes with bean bags (which you can swap out for your games).
Back in this nice area of the kitchen, I reused my baby skunks on sliding boards and my
mop stick (minus the head) for a shuffleboard. This is always a popular game, and not an easy one either.
Above is my fun foam- science board Caps Hockey player. Since we designed the Capital's Hockey Center, I felt this was a nice touch. There is a triangle beneath his legs and a net behind him. He is standing in front of a shelf with bricks loaded with bricks for weight.
The hockey sticks have furniture moving slides velcroed to them. I bought a teen-sized
set on Amazon that included the stick, pucks, and net. This was fairly inexpensive. The
kicker was they strapped on carpet skates (made with furniture sliders). I bought those on Amazon also.
You might have caught a glimpse of an empty baby pool earlier and wondered what it was being used for. Well, I had four of them. I filled two of them up with white play pit balls for the POLAR BEAR CHALLENGE. I bought the plastic play shovels at Target when I first saw them, then built the game around them. I already had the polar bears from the polar bear birthday beach party (see post about that). The object of the game was to ride a
scooter back and forth across building lobby, fill up small bucket with balls, bring balls to other side of lobby, and empty them into other pool. This was a two team relay.
You can see that the lobby was a very popular spot. On right you can see a raccoon food toss (I bought felt food on Etsy last year). You can see the small scooter I bought for little kids to ride on. You can spy the large scooter by the pools. And you can spot three of the company's partners, including my hubby. But to see the most popular game of the evening, you will have to see photo below.
You had to throw 3 bean bag axes, while standing on a balancing exercise board, at the stuffed tree target--to try to knock them over. I had this game--minus the exercise
board--- at the Chili Contest Lumberjack Party a few years back. So many people played it, that it broke the trees and I had to install rulers in them to make them stand up. So I bought cheap ones on Amazon that worked just as well. Since they weren't falling to the floor this time, they ended up being stored intact. WHEW!!
This game also shows the tree signs I made for each game with directions on them. I had bells on the balsam tree you could ring as an option.
What were people doing in the small conference room? Rolling dice to draw a snowman,
of course. You're never too old for a favorite elementary school game. Only the dice chart was using combinations that made it harder and more fun for adults. I posted my snowman drawing on the wall. Soon it was covered with many more.
If you follow this blog, or visit it regularly (thank you, by the way) you are waiting for the DESSERT BAR photos. Above are the graphics I did for the two monitors that are installed above it. Notice Santa in the red truck. I am always on the hunt for good tree graphics, and I love the snow covered one I found.
Out came all of my rustic serving pieces, including this new cupcake stand. I had two of the office wives help me bake this year. Wowzers!!!! It was fabulous. Those little peppermint cheesecakes I made went FAST. I crushed up Hershey peppermint kisses for the cheescake part. I always use oreos in the bottom of my mini pans, because when you pop them out, these cookies make them easier and sturdier to handle.
I made brownie trees, cutting the cookie sheet cookies into triangle shapes (seen on Pinterest). I drizzled melted green chocolate disks and added holiday sprinkles on each. I dipped a pretzle in the chocolate to add to the bottom. All of the desserts nestled on round snowflake doilies I printed and cut out.
I cheated and bought a big chocolate cake from Costco, along with cream puffs. I added
mousse cakes and cookies from Wegman's. One of the two Samantha's helping me made
48 s'more pops on sticks. So, I am HAPPY TO SAY, I made no cake pops for this party.
But I am making moose ones for the Alaska Chili Contest in March. I am using the same trees, same tableclothes, same stuffed wild animals, same rustic wooden serving pieces.
Are you getting the drift. Reuse. Reuse. Reuse, and twig the theme so people think you're just so creative. This same Samantha made all of the live centerpieces on the tables, and the big box of greens. She has agreed to start taking over the Christmas party, so that I am not so stressed, now that we have even more employees.
A special thank you to the band, Irresponsible. Bands love this gig because they get to play games. Too many games (insert sad face icon here) to dance this year.
Just in case anyone was wondering, yes we played Wii Ski on the monitor in the conference room. We gave away lots of cash and prizes for the drawings. Below are random photos of our party guests.
|Samantha the Greens Designer|
|People waiting hopefully that their envelope from wall has money in it|
|Yours truly during raffle drawings|
|Newest member of my stuffed collection, Chocolate Moose.|
Bags are prizes for winning sled race team.
|Buzz's partner looking festive. Note|
Wii Ski in background.
|My tech guru and his family. Best cleanup helpers ever, also|
|First time EVER--line for the buffet. They'd heard about the meatballs!!!|