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I don't know about you, but at Christmas gatherings you will often find me at the kid's table. It's where the magic happens. Seen through the eyes of children, the sheer joy and excitement of the holidays makes all the effort and enthusiasm worthwhile.

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A nutcracker-themed dessert party is the perfect way to entertain the grandchildren, cousins, and neighborhood kids in one fell swoop. At this relaxed open house, a collection of whimsical nutcrackers and vintage toys provide instant décor and entertainment, and a mix of sweets and drinks keep everyone happy.

Wipeable toy soldier placemats, festive acrylic goblets, and toys that are meant to be played with are key to keeping things sane while visions of sugarplum fairies, dancing mice, and Clara capture everyone's imagination.

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For this party, the banquette is swagged with faux garland and trimmed with red berries. The pops of red in the throws and cheerful holiday plates tie the pale green cushions and aqua pillows to the more traditional colors of the season.

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The mantle is lined with iced brush trees and an array of nutcrackers collected over a lifetime. What I love about this type of entertaining is that nothing has to match and more is truly merrier. "Starter" nutcrackers as gifts for grandchildren can be the beginning of their own collections and favors of ornaments and Christmas crackers are meant to be shared.

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There's something so classic and nostalgic about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet; it transcends generations. I can't think of a better way to spend time during the holidays than with the children you love the most.

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This article appeared in the November 2019 Issue of Adore Magazine.