I had it all planned. We would hold a Christmas tea party to celebrate finishing Mr Men school and to end our year of Mr Men fun on a high. Well, we did manage to end it on a complete (sugar) high but my not so well planned party was not quite the success I had hoped for. That said, the littles ones kept exclaiming over and over again how much they had enjoyed it and could we please do it again tomorrow….uh, no actually we really can’t. The stress of a similar party might just send me over the edge.
The party was due the last week of term which happened to be a couple of weeks before Christmas. I could cope with that, said I, after all it wasn’t so close to Christmas that I would need to focus all my attentions on the yearly seasonal preparation. Unfortunately the younger children came down with a nasty cold so we postponed. Finally, just two days before Christmas, everyone was well enough for the party to happen. Yes, two days – what was I thinking!
No matter, I enthusiastically decorated under the stairs to use as the party area, after all it was only for the two of them, and I didn’t want to use the living area as we were having guests the next day. So under the stairs it was:
Not bad, given it was the size of a postage stamp. However, I then complicated things by asking Lorna and her two children to join us. Suddenly the space for two needed to accommodate seven.
More people meant more supplies which Lorna valiantly tried to purchase on her way over. Unfortunately Asda were sold out of white icing and with no icing sugar we were up the creek without a paddle (so to speak).
My plan had been to bake the makings of a ginger bread house and then let the children ice it. I prepared a double mixture of dough the night before with visions of everyone having their own house. Next morning to my disappointment there was actually only enough dough for two. The house cutters had grown over the two years since we had last made one. These were big biscuit houses:
No matter, the little girls could share one and the bigger girls could share one and the boys could have a few sweeties and play Mind Craft. Everyone was happy.
Over the course of the next hour and a half I had what could only be described as one of the most frustrating kitchen experiences in my life. In the absence of any proper icing I thought I would improvise by using a Supersoft Cake Frosting. Its name should have alerted me to the fact there was no way it would be strong enough to act as a glue to hold all the different biscuit shapes together to resemble something like a house. Try as I might I could not make the roof stick. And you should know I tried everything much to the amusement of Lorna. I had this though. I am stubborn by nature and I was not going to be beaten by a biscuit. An hour and a hour later and the house collapsed Not just the roof but the whole house. I almost cried.
In the end I put it to one side and started on the next one telling my older daughters that they could rescue my failed attempt later. I had managed to make the four walls stick but again no roof. L12, ever the pacifist exclaimed gently that it didn’t matter. They would just have to decorate a derelict church without a roof instead of a house!
The second one I attacked with even more gusto than the first. I had learnt a lot of lessons during that hour and a half. This biscuit would not defeat me. Tackling the main issue of the Supersoft Frosting I asked the girls to pop and get me some icing sugar. I then proceeded to make the stiffest icing I could, along with the only icing Lorna could get (pink), and armed with steely nerves plus the aid of five mugs I got the walls up, and then the roof:
The little girls were thrilled. At last they could decorate. The older girls were not so thrilled. They had a derelict church to decorate and could only do so after they had done the washing up! They were less than impressed:
I carefully carried the house to possibly the most ridiculous place in the house to stick on sweets – under the stairs. Yes, I think I was slowly losing the plot and it wasn’t pretty. It got worse though when the roof I had painstakingly stuck on began its decline into the lower regions. So I did what any parent would in my place. I stuck two green lollies under the eves to support the sliding roof and called them trees. The girls were delighted. I breathed a sigh of relief, more pleased than I know how to express, that I didn’t have to go for round three with THE BISCUIT.
Lorna made some light icing, poured it over the house and the littles started decorating, very possibly with more toppings going in their mouth than on their house:
They ended up with a very respectably decorated house which had not only four walls but a roof and two trees. And once the Mr Men were added, I was very nearly in ginger-bread house bliss:
That was until some very ignorant person (me) who shall remain nameless (me) thought it would be funny to put Mr Bump on the roof and then we all watched in aghast whilst the roof, walls and all the other Mr Men fell about in an unceremonious heap. I let the girls at it and they ate and were merry. Less said the better.
Meanwhile the older girls were doing their very best to make something, anything, of the derelict church. Again more sweets were eaten than stuck on and I thought they did a grand job:
However, as you can see, one daughter remained less than impressed!
We handed out prizes for the best decorated ginger bread house, which of course went to the little girls, and then gathered everyone for a spot of pass the parcel with consequences. They had great fun impersonating different Mr Men. B3 was delighted to win the prize of a Mr Men bowl, cup and spoon:
The boys looked on but didn’t join in the pass the parcel:
Next up was a quick game of musical statues. Everyone joined in but peculiarly none of the photos contained T (who kept ducking each time I tried to take one!):
This time A6 won (it may or may not have been fixed for her to win…):
Last but not least we did crackers. I had bought some very inexpensive crackers from Lidl and turned them into Mr Men themed ones by sticking on some photocopies of Mr Men:
They were cracked, jokes were told, stickers stuck:
….and the Mr Men Christmas tea party came to an end.
Thank goodness for that.