Here in Atlanta, we have a Christmas tradition that stretches back 50 years. In 1953, our hometown Rich’s Department Store (now Macy’s) introduced Priscilla the Pink Pig.
For those unfortunates who did not grow up with the Pink Pig, Priscilla was a child-sized train, suspended from the ceiling of the Rich’s toy department. My husband rode the train as a child, and of course, detrained with loads of ideas for Santa. Here are the girls with one of the original Pink Pig cars behind them.
These days, the Pink Pig runs on top of the Macy’s parking deck in a huge tent that tells the story of Priscilla. While the setting is not quite as magical (and may I say, quite cold?) it is still a holiday must-do for our kids. Well, we missed our trip to the Pink Pig two years in a row because of sickness and because last year, Christmas whipped my butt. So this year, I was determined to get the girls to the Pink Pig and to celebrate the trip in style with their friends!
Priscillia’s colors are 50s inspired pink, black and teal. You know I’m a sucker for a bright color palette, so this combo was right up my alley. And – hooray! – I had lots of pink and black on hand because this party had a budget of just $100.
Party on a Budget
For a party like this that is a little celebration, I say, keep it simple to keep it in budget. I had just two treats – hot chocolate with fixings and cupcakes – and that was plenty. The treats were also our activities, so I got two for the price of one!
Here’s how I spent my budget:
- Black polka dot fabric (1 yard): $6
- Fabric for rag garlands (5 yards total): $15
- Pink curtains: $16
- Pink ice cream scoops (4): $4
- Flowers: $8
- Pink ball ornaments: $1.50
- Pink plastic knives: $2.50
- Pink baking cups: $3
- Printing: $5
- Pink ribbon: $6
- Pink plates: $10
- Cocoa ingredients, mix-ins, and favor ingredients: $19.75
- Cupcakes and decorations: $14.75
OK, so my total was $111.50. I went over by $11 because of the pink plates, but I only used four, so I have a bunch left over for another party. In fact, I’ll reuse the fabric, ornaments and ribbon, too, so I’m OK with my overage.
The table is all about what I had on hand. I draped our kitchen table in the pink tablecloth from the Feather Her Nest Baby Shower and added a black placemat to each spot. (The placemats were from my husband’s Cash Cab Party.) The polka dot napkins are from our Tailgating Party. Each napkin ring is topped with a printable party circle that I designed on PicMonkey. On the pink plates, I added a white dish with everything the girls needed to decorate piggy cupcakes. (The white dishes are from our Bright and Colorful Thanksgiving.) The girls tied the fabric bunting on each of the chairs for me.
Since our kitchen table was home to the cupcake decorating, the sideboard became a cocoa bar. I started hot chocolate in the Crockpot before we left for the Pink Pig. I used a recipe from Wink Chick that apparently isn’t online anymore, so here’s all you do:
In your Crockpot, mix:
- 1/2 cup dry baking cocoa
- 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- I’m 7-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
When we returned, everyone chose their own mix-ins and settled down to cupcake decorating.
Cocoa mix-ins included:
- Strawberry marshmallows
- Hog-sized marshmallows
- Pigtail twist candy canes (more on this later this week!)
- Caramel balls
- Cinnamon sticks
- Andes mints
- Pink rock candy stirrers
Oftentimes, choosing a party backdrop is my biggest challenge. I have so many ideas, and of course, there’s no “wrong” choice. I love the natural light coming through this window, so I decided not to completely obscure the window.
Instead, I put up a tension rod with inexpensive curtain panels between my bay windows. In between the curtain panels, I strung an “I Rode The Pink Pig” banner. I made the banner using PicMonkey and all the printables are available for you as a free download at the end of this post.
To enhance the cocoa bar area, I draped my sideboard with a black and white polka dot fabric. From the front knobs of the sideboard, I added fabric strip bunting. I used mini versions of the bunting on the back of each chair. I kept the serving pieces simple, combining white and glass, dressed up with a pop of hot pink grosgrain ribbon. With a few shatterproof ornaments, the table was complete.
Our combination party activity and treat was to decorate pink frosted cupcakes to look like little piggies. I found this idea from Executive Homemaker via Tip Junkie and modified it to make it easier for kids. Super-simple tutorial coming later this week!
I kept the party favors simple and tied to our theme by giving each girl a cocoa powder mix topped with mini marshmallows. (Here are the cocoa mix recipe and instructions for decorating the mason jars.) I have to say my “thoink you” tags crack me up.
And that’s my child on the left, attacking her marshmallow. So proud!
- I Rode the Pink Pig Banner
- Cocoa Bar Mix-In Labels
- Cocoa Bar Blank Labels
- Pig Party Circles
- Thoink You Tags
- Cocoa Instructions
Party styling: The Party Teacher
Photography: Viridian Images Photography