It’s become a tradition that every year we host a Christmas Party for our friends as a way to share this magical time of year with them before everyone either goes away on holiday or spend their time with their families. We usually don’t get to see one another until New Year’s again so it’s a great way to get all our friends together and make it especially special for the little ones.

This year I decided to do something different because (a) I thought it would be more fun and festive, (b) I mistakenly thought it would be less work and (c) I was dying to plan something that involved Llama’s!

Whilst I am still very much on Team Unicorn, the enchanting creature trending since like forever, I think the Llama trend is giving this magical beast a run for its money and might just finally (gasp!) dethrone our beloved Unicorn. So naturally I couldn’t wait to plan something around this theme.

I set the table on our patio and we were lucky to enjoy great weather on the day. I loved the festive colours I was able to achieve with a bright pink runner, different coloured side plates and funky cactus drink jars.

I bought two colourful bunches of flowers at Woolworths which I placed in different glasses which we had at home. These colourful green and blue glasses belonged to Tessa’s grandmother and was brought down  from Greece and I just love them so much. Woolworths also had Mexican themed napkins for my place settings and I added some more colour to the table with colourful Christmas baubles I got at Checkers.

 

At each place setting I placed one of our decorated sugar cookies in different styles of llamas and cacti.


And of course our Falalala-Lama Christmas Cake featured as a centrepiece.

I went a little extra and made Pinata crackers for the adults which had a Mexican Moustache and mini bottle of alcohol in it for that extra fiesta feeling.

This was well received by our guests!

For the kids I got a plastic Mexican sarape table cloth from the party store as I knew they would be getting quite messy with their activity boxes and also bought them Llama crackers from Woolworths. I made each of them an activity box which included pages to colour in, a cookie painting activity, a cookie decorating activity as well as a craft activity and game. They really loved doing these activities and managed to keep them still for a little bit. I think they enjoyed the party most of all.

 

But of course what is a fiesta without food?! Whilst I thought making Mexican food would be easier than a full three course Christmas lunch, I was clearly kidding myself. I completely misjudged my timing and as we had our staff function the night before I wasn’t able to prep as much as I had hoped, but alas I am not perfect and in the end even though it might have been later than expected we all had a feast nonetheless.

Starters consisted of platters of nachos and hard shell tacos with some chilli con carne mince, tomato and peppers enchilada chicken, 7 layer dips, refried beans, salsas, guacamole and sour cream.

Our Gin Bar ensured everyone had a very Merry Gin-mas and if you look closely you will even see our little tree sported Gin filled baubles.

 

Finally it was on to mains which was Pulled Pork (Carnitas) and Fish Tacos. These came out much later and I don’t have the best photographs of them, but they were simply divine! It was the first time I made pulled pork which I cooked in the slow cooker overnight. Our friend Dane, who not only happens to be the graphic designer behind Tessa’s but also an amazing cook, fried the fish in a beer batter – and I must admit I felt a little hard done by that I slaved over the meals for hours and he ended up getting all the credit for his fried fish – haha just kidding.

Lastly we had Churros and chilli chocolate ganache and some Cruffins from the bakery which unfortunately I never got photos of!

But all in all it was one of the best fiestas I have ever had and many wonderful memories made both with our friends and our little ones.

To host your own festive fiesta we’ve created these fun printables which includes tags, place card or food tent cards, Christmas Llama and alcohol prints.

Download via this Dropbox Link or direct from this blog post.

 


Did you know that we now have a direct line to the North Pole? Santa has entrusted us with a magic Post Box that sends letters direct to his workshop, so grab those good little boys and girls and keep the magic alive by getting them to pen their wishes to the jolliest fella in the North Pole and stand a chance to win.

Letters to Santa can be posted in Santa’s Magic Post Box between the 7th and 22nd December and each child who posts a letter stands a chance to win a R1,000.00 Takealot Voucher for themselves as well as a R1,000.00 Takealot Voucher for any Charity they nominate.

Kids posting their letters to Santa on Saturday 8th, 15th and 22nd will be spoilt with a yummy Christmas cupcake.

HOW TO ENTER: 

Kids, write your Letter to Santa along with your age and name. Write a short creative letter telling him what your biggest Christmas wish is and why it is important to give to others during Christmas.

Mom and Dad, place your contact details on the back of the letter.

Post your Letter to Santa in Santa’s Magic Post Box next to the Christmas Tree in our store.

COMPETITION RULES: 

  1. Tessa’s Letter to Santa Competition is open from Friday, 7 December 2018 to Saturday, 22 December 2018.
  2. Winners will be announced on 23 December 2018 via our Social Media Platforms and via the parent contact details provided.
  3. Competition is open to children aged 10 years and younger.
  4. To enter, entrants must submit a short, creative letter to Santa telling him what their biggest Christmas wish is and why it is important to give to others during Christmas. Entrants must nominate a Charity.
  5. The letter must be handwritten by the child and in the child’s own words. Parents may assist younger children who aren’t able to write yet.
  6. Incorrect spelling, composition and sentence structure will not penalise the letter in any way.
  7. The following prices will be awarded. R1,000.00 Takealot Gift Voucher for entrant and R1,000.00 Takealot Gift Voucher for Charity nominated by the entrant.
  8. No purchase is necessary.
  9. By entering this competition, you give Tessa’s Bakery the right to publish your letter on our social media platforms.

DOWNLOAD YOUR LETTER TO SANTA TEMPLATE – Santa_letter


We really love Christmas at Tessa’s and every year we dream up themes and cakes that we hope will help you create beautifully festive tables with scrumptious treats that everyone will be talking about for years to come. But before I delve deeper into our Christmas range and share some pretty cool printables with you, I have a confession to make – I suffer from O.C.D. – Obsessive Christmas Disorder – I have admittedly been planning Christmas, since before Christmas in July! I try and fool myself into believing it’s because we are in retail that I have to stay ahead of trends and research Christmas as far back as March, but deep down I know the truth and although I am super excited that December is finally here, that we have a cracking Christmas range, that the Christmas lights on the tree are twinkling in the background as I write this, and as jolly as I am for the upcoming festivities, a part of me is sad that it’s almost over, like I just don’t want it to end, ever!

When planning our 2018 range, I drew inspiration from the Nutcracker story which I love and decided to incorporate this into our theme this year. That it coincided with Disney’s release of their feature film this year was purely coincidental. We couldn’t decide whether to incorporate the traditional Christmas colours of the toy soldier or the pink hues of the Ballerina and in the end decided to do both settings because you know we are extra like that! So let’s start with our pastel pink collection.

If you suffer from OCD like I do and are wondering where we got our Nutcracker Toy Soldiers and decorations from, then you simply need to pop on over to Santa’s Warehouse and best yet, their online store is open all year long so you can secretly fuel your obsession without any judgement.

We have two beautiful feature cakes in this range as well as biscuits, cupcakes and cakesicles and a fun DIY Gingerbread House Kit. We chose light but very Christmassy flavours for our pastel collection, with a pink velvet cake with berry filling and a light vanilla cake with a delicious apple filling.

 

And if you are a lover of all things Pink as Tessa and myself are, or if your home is overrun with little princesses then our pastel range will be perfect for you and Mr Price Home have some amazing pink table decor and crockery to match.

But of course, pink is not for everyone and if you love the more traditional hues of Christmas then you will love our Traditional Nutcracker range.

Our traditional range has everything you could ever ask for in Christmas, from aromatic gingerbread flavours, an edible Christmas Village, tangy cranberries and boozy Baileys and a sprinkling of snow. Novelty biscuits and cakesicles make for the perfect table favours or treats for little ones while our feature cakes will certainly leave your guests talking about it long after their plates are empty.

If you are looking for table setting gifts for your guests then our Novelty Biscuits or Cakesicles make the perfect little treats and characters peeking out from a simple napkin fold.

 

But of course it’s Christmas, the season for giving, so this year we will be sharing a bunch of free printables with you to make your Christmas even more festive and memorable. Download our gift to you, a Nutcracker printable set consisting of two festive prints, name place cards and tags which will beautifully compliment not only your table but our cakes and treats too.

Dropbox Download Link 

So from all of us here at Tessa’s – have a cracking Christmas – ’tis after all the season to be nutty!

XMAS_NUTCRACKER