The Recipe for a Happy Holidays Horton’s Kids Celebration: Start with Cookies, then add Face Paint and Books!

Members of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) rang in the holiday season on December 11, 2016, with Horton’s Kids, a tutoring and mentorship organization for at-risk children in the Anacostia neighborhood. Each year, approximately 30 JLW members serve on the Horton’s Kids Committee; placements volunteer through both tutoring services on Capitol Hill, as well as hosting events for the children, which provide a safe and fun environment to celebrate their favorite holidays.
This year’s holiday party was held in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. As soon as the children ran through the doors of the historic Cannon Caucus room, excitement filled the air, and the party truly got started! 

A jovial Santa Claus chatted with the Horton’s Kids participants.

JLW women provided several tables of various activities for more than 40 children ranging in age from two to 12 to participate in while they enjoyed a lunch of pizza, fruits, and veggies. After students got their faces painted with Rudolph noses, snowflakes, and other fun holiday designs, they moved on to decorate Christmas ornaments and cards for their families. The kids loved making gifts for their family members. They even designed their own Christmas stockings in the hopes that St. Nick will fill them in just a few days.

Check out that facepainting job! Horton’s Kids pose for a picture after getting their faces painted by JLW volunteers.

JLW volunteers get crafty with Horton’s Kids at the annual holiday party on December 11.

There was also a cupcake and cookie decorating station, complete with icings, sprinkles, and other accoutrements to satisfy every sweet tooth. To work off the sugar high, the children played games such as “Pin the Nose on Rudolf,” a marshmallow “snowball” toss game, and holiday-themed bean bag toss. The real winners were the kids who correctly guessed the number of candies in the jar – the prize being the jar of candy itself!

A pastry chef in the making! Horton’s Kids participants decorated cupcakes and cookies with sprinkles and icing. 

Finally, the true guest of honor was none other than Santa Claus. Santa took pictures with the kids, handed out candy canes, and spread holiday cheer. He was equipped with a table of free books for the children (through JLW’s Resolution Read program) to take home with them and enjoy with their families. Leave it to JLW to help spread the gift of literacy on any occasion!
A big thank you to all the hard-working members of JLW for their time, creativity, and holiday spirit. Your efforts made the holiday party a success, and the Horton’s Kids had an unforgettable time!

Top of everyone’s holiday wish: a fist bump from Santa!