Reformation Day Party – 2013

15 Oct

This year will be our 2nd Annual Wellman Reformation Day Party! So excited!!

I’ve decided to focus on John Calvin (or Jean Cauvin) this year, as a rather fitting follow up to our Luther-themed party of last year.

So, here are my ideas. You are welcome to borrow, reuse, reinvent and modify these as you please. I probably will, too, over the next several weeks, until I have finally arranged what I believe will work best for us. 🙂

Our home is small, so in an effort to keep everything inside this year, in case of cold or inclement weather, we will only be inviting three other families in addition to ours. So, understandably, the amount of supplies I will have to buy/make will be small enough to make this a not-so-huge expense. If you plan to do a larger party, you might need to alter the food/treat menu and some of the games to be more cost-effective.

First party feature: Simonetta Carr’s book about John Calvin, which you can find here or here.

1) We will begin our party with a meal consisting of traditional French and Swiss foods and drinks, during which I (or some other adult) will read portions of Simonetta Carr’s book.

Menu so far:

– fondue (using Swiss, Gruyere, or Edamame cheese) with French baguette pieces and apple slices to dip out the cheese.

– cucumber and tomato salads in vinaigrette

РSwiss R̦sti (recipes here and here)

– chocolate éclairs (there are also “tastes like the real thing” éclair squares recipes — but after reading through the ingredients lists, my Frenchie self just couldn’t stomach any of those suggestions. I’d rather spend the time making the “real deal” than use cool whip, graham crackers and boxed vanilla pudding for an easier replacement, thanks! Gross! I’m sure if you’ve not indulged in real éclairs on a regular basis the substitute dessert is just fine. But if you have, or have guests who have, you might want to reconsider…)

– Croque Monsieur sandwiches

crêpes with powdered sugar and Nutella (and I don’t care what the recipes say, crêpes are NOT like “pancakes”)

Perrier water, Evian water, chocolate milk (served in bowls), and probably some kind of hot apple cider

For prizes to the games, we will give out Toblerone minis, Lindt minis, Buddy Fruits applesauces and tarts (lemon and raspberry flavors). Buddy Fruits also makes jello packs and gummi packs, too.

BTW, I can find/buy all of these at our local Walmart. Yes, we live in a big city. But more rural locations often carry these same items as well, or if you ask, may be able to order them in stock for you.

2) All the plates on which the food will be eaten will have different colored dot stickers pre-placed on the bottom, so that we can easily make two or three teams of party guests for the next game – Calvin’s Pulpit Trivia. Questions will be formed from the portions we read of Carr’s book. The team that answers the most questions correctly will receive one of the above mentioned food prizes to put in their goodie bags (something like this, only we will probably use Calvin quotes).

3) Next up, Pin the Cap on Calvin – just a good ole’ rendition of “pin the ____ on the _______”, except with a life size poster of a famous Calvin image, and pre-cut paper caps to match the one on the poster, tape and a blindfold. Everyone who plays receives a prize, but those are given out in order of 1st to last based on the proximity of each player’s cap to the original one on the poster.

4) This next game, I don’t have solidified yet, but it will be a team game again, based around the traditional game “pétanque“, which is played in various renditions all around the word, but especially in French influenced areas. The object of the game will be to keep “score”, not by points but by the letters of the Calvinist acronym T. U. L. I. P.  First team to spell “TULIP” wins another food prize. There will be a poster explaining each of these letters and their significance as related to Calvin’s doctrine and teaching.

5) Geneva Lake Boat Races – again, I don’t have this one all detailed out, but it will involve boats looking something like this (minus the balloons), that can be blown by mouth across our living room floor. This will probably have to be a team relay of some sort, from one side of our living room to the other.

6) I’m not sure whether we will have any more games after this. But here is a site I am contemplating, with many great ideas, to see if any of them can be worked into our Calvin theme. Also, here is another traditional French/Euro game children play — a long stretchy elastic rope is stretched between the legs of two players, while a third completes a series of pre-determined jumps over, across, through and on the elastic bands, with the object of the game being to complete the set of jumps required for each picture group. There are often silly rhymes that go with each “set”, but you can also complete the jumps by simply counting them one at a time (a good chance to practice pronouncing French numbers!). Most of these sets have 8-10 jumps to complete, including the starting and finishing positions.

The decorations this year will be simple, since Calvin was a very simple man himself. But I will try to have something set up as his “pulpit” and Bible (we might have a Geneva Bible, Geneva Study Bible or Reformation Study Bible or can find one to borrow), a couple of our Calvin books set out, a slide show of Geneva pictures scrolling by, or maybe some library books of pictures of the area, or if I can find it, my own scrapbook of my travels in Geneva and Switzerland. I will also have a “blackboard” with the menu inscribed on it set out to welcome our visitors, much like European restaurants do to advertise their offerings. I’ll probably try to find or make some “Parisian” and “Swiss” paraphernalia to hang up, set around, with the “Parisian” things being on one side of the living room, and the “Swiss” on the other, with “Calvin’s Pulpit” set up between them.


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