So, we kept the semi-formal idea, went from the formal dinner to all desserts, and added some fun activities, but kept the focus on the children putting on the show.
There was a cotton candy machine, cake and cookie table, candy table, a table of Jim's famous popcorn, lemonade/hot chocolate/coffee table and a fancy dessert table. Add to that Santa himself to take the children's wishes, and finally a photo booth.
For me, it was such a pleasure to have some of the group homes cooperate in their presentation of music and dance, to see some children brave enough to get up in front of all those people and perform, to have Dennis serenade us with piano music while we gathered and visited, to have Nini bring electronics for the children to do karaoke, Johann organize a program, Suzie put it all together, and Cesar emcee the program - Jim and I just sat back and enjoyed!!
It was also wonderful to see both foster parents and group home staff come cheer their children on, and to have the children learn to get along in a semi-formal situation helps us see the best in them.
Thanks to all for your efforts. It was a great event.