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We had 3 families over to celebrate the 4th of July with us. Between us we have 13 children. Little children don’t balance paper plates on their laps as well as adults do.
Up until this particular party we usually had the children sitting on the floor around coffee tables, not exactly making them feel like important guests.
I wanted to make the little visitors feel a bit more special this time. Of course, I decided I wanted to do this 30 minutes before guests arrived. These photos showed what I was able to pull off in 15 minutes so I could still fit in a quick shower and greet my friends with actual clothes on (we are close but not THAT close 🙂 ).
I started by dragging 3 card tables down from the attic. I have used these table for over 10 years now for yard sales and secondhand homeschool curriculum sales so they have more than paid for themselves. I then remembered that I still had the red and white checkered tablecloths from my daughters Teddy Bear picnic from years back stored with my other table linens.
I took all the chairs from around the dining room table which was going to be holding all the food for the party and therefore would have no room for seating and placed them around the table.
It was a breezy day and since I was setting up the tables on our front porch I knew I needed centerpieces that would hold the tablecloths down. That is where the creativity began.
I didn’t have time to run to the store for centerpieces , nor did I want to spend any money, so I used what I had on hand. I took the wooden houses off a table on my front porch and spaced them evenly around the table.
I found 3 green glass ball jars that I had purchased at yard sales years ago and then went to my craft cupboard and found my big box of ribbons I had purchased also at a yard sale for just .50 cents one year. I dug through the ribbon box until I found one roll of blue ribbon, one roll of red and a roll of white (well silver and white but close enough).
I cut the ribbon into 3rds and placed one of each color in each jar, then placed the jars between the houses.
Each family as they arrived commented on how great the tables looked, and not a single child sat around a coffee table this year.
The total cost: Zero!
The houses, jars, tablecloths, tables and chairs all went back to their homes. The ribbon from the jars is back in my ribbon box to be reused on gifts or perhaps even on the 4th of July next year.
Now you might not have any of these things in your home, but you don’t have to the real lesson here, is to look at what you do own in a different way, and use it to create your own table and centerpieces for guests.
You might not have card tables, but perhaps you have a long piece of wood and some saw horses you can make a table out of. You might not have as many chairs as I do, but perhaps you have benches, or you can ask your friends to each bring a few. You might not have glass jars, but you probably have a few glasses. You might not have ribbon, but perhaps you have marbles to weigh the glasses down with and pretty flowers growing in your garden to place inside them.
Take a treasure hunt around your home, and get into your creative zone, and see what you can come up with to make your guests feel just that much more welcomed.