Birthday Parties

Posted by  | Monday, September 7, 2009  at 8:00 AM  
I love birthday parties and have found it so much fun to plan them for my children. Just as each child is different, each party has been different. Starting a few weeks or so before the event, I begin thinking of a theme that fits their personality or what they are “into” at that point. We just had a princess themed party for my three year old daughter and it was a lot of fun. I also had a dirt themed party for my son when he turned one. Although it has really be unnecessary (because we’ve only invited our families to our parties), I have crafted a simple invitation relating to the theme and sent it to their grandparents, aunts and uncles. This gives them a clue as to what the party might be about and also sometimes helps them with knowing what sort of things my children are interested in. When my brother received the princess party invitation, he took it upon himself to come to the party dressed like a princess! Everyone thought it was hilarious! When my kids are older and we are inviting unsaved playmates, I got the idea from my cousin (in-law) to include a note in the invitation that we will be reading a favorite story about Jesus at the party. This might be helpful in making sure no parents would be offended or caught off guard.
Once I have the theme and invitation completed, I decide on the cake. I love making homemade creations for my kids. There are lots of ideas in library books and parenting magazines for homemade cakes, with no decorating experience required. Another option is to look into taking a Wilton Cake Decorating class, offered at local craft stores. I have never taken one of these, but they look like so much fun! My husband’s mother makes an incredible ice cream cake for every birthday. She bakes a regular cake mix and cuts the two 9” rounds in half and layers them with ice cream (chocolate chip is everyone’s favorite). Then she frosts the whole cake with a fudge icing, tops it with a few sprinkles and freezes it overnight. All of her kids (and now those of us who are her kids through marriage) request this cake for birthdays and it has become a much anticipated birthday tradition.
I usually decorate our dining room for the party and like to do it while the kids are napping or asleep at night, so they wake up to a party scene. I use crepe paper streamers (so cheap and lots of options) and balloons. For Meredith’s last party, someone gave us a helium tank. It really made the party a lot of fun. She loved all the balloons. These are available and local party stores, and WalMart, I think. Christina has also crafted lovely birthday banners that she uses with her kids. What a great way to incorporate birthday tradition. One of our birthday traditions is measuring the height of the birthday kid and taking a picture of them so they can see how they’ve grown from the previous year. Doing this on their birthday ensures that I don’t miss anyone too! I mark their heights on a large ruler I made out of scrap wood since I knew we’d be moving frequently and didn’t want to mark on the wall and have to leave it behind. You can see it in the background in this photo of our Dorothy the Dinosaur themed party. I have also been meaning to make a special birthday plate for the birthday kid to use all day, but I haven’t had access to one of those “paint your own pottery” places where I live. When they are older, I’m considering using my fine china on their birthday (when else am I going to use it?) I also fulfill the birthday kid’s request for a favorite breakfast and/or dinner.
Birthday parties can be a lot of work and as we (Lord willing ) add more children to our family, I may not be able to do a party for every child every year, so we may eventually go to every other year or something. But, we will celebrate, even just as a family. I know from my childhood I have forgotten many of the everyday things that we did as a family, but special events (like my own birthdays) stick out in my memory. I can remember the cakes my mom lovingly made for me and my brothers and I want to do the same for my children. Be creative, use the internet and other moms as a resource and tailor the party to fit the child. They’ll love it!

1 comment:

noahandlylasmommi said...

wow those cakes are all so cute!

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