With both kids, we've never had a "friends" birthday party until they've asked for it. With both kids that has happened right about the time they turn three.
I suppose it won't take long before Little Miss will also want to have a party that is unrelated to Christmas festivities, but--for now--it seemed to me that the only thing that could improve upon having a passel of preschoolers at my house would be to give them pure-sugar icing in neon colors.
So sugar cookie decorating it was!
Actually, it worked out well. Some grown-up friends came over and helped me bake cookies (and drink wine) the night before.
Then, Little Miss's pals decorated cookies for half an hour, and we let them run amok in the backyard while the icing dried. We had one small person fall victim to a chicken love-peck, but otherwise I believe it was a successful function.
Best part? We got the fun of decorating cookies, and then we sent most of them home with our guests--along with a cute little cookie cutter--as party favors.