This post has been on my mind for days now.
The Birthday Party. For a child.
What is such a time of excitement for your child and family can turn into a nightmare quickly.
Whom do you invite: family only or just a few close friends or everyone you ever said hi to?
Do you invite your friends or just your child's friends?
Do you end up with a random group of folks who don't know each other or just a small group of people who know you, your child and each other?
What about games? Do you really need an activity or is giving a group of toddlers enough sugar to power a locomotive entertainment enough?
Oh my, the presents. Should you open them with guests present or save them for after the aforementioned sugar high?
How do you find a balance between food adults want to eat and stuff kids want to eat? Scratch that. Just feed the kids sugar and the adults real food.
I love a theme. I just go to the invite store and peruse the aisles looking for something I can work with. The theme powers me to plan. (and spend.) Never mind asking my child what kind of party she wants. Right now, it's what Mama wants!
Let me explain what's been going on in our house for the last few years regarding THE BIRTHDAY PARTY.
So we have two kids. If you are expecting to have more than one child, I suggest keeping it all family until you just can't anymore. I didn't really consider this idea, being one who likes to plan, cook and entertain. Looking back, I have enjoyed every party we've done, but looking forward, I think I'm in over my head. I forgot to consider the fact that siblings of guests would come into the picture. I've always liked the idea of a child's age+1 as the number of friends to invite, but someone else doesn't agree with me.
Just like we talked about during the Christmas season, it's easier to stay simple and add more later. It's definitely harder to go from spectacular to simple. Even now, I think we're still in the range in which it will be easy to scale back for my kids, although my prideful self doesn't want to do that. I want to invite everyone under the sun. But I haven't.
For both of our children, we've tried to keep things the same.
First Birthday: family guests, a lunch, a few decorations
Second Birthday: family+3 friends (child's friends), big food spread, decorations, games, favors
Third Birthday: pretty big production-I went overboard, family+friends of child+friends of ours, big food spread, decorations, games, games, favors
See where this is going? We've got until September until AE's next birthday. By then I'm afraid I'll forget how I'm feeling now. I am however considering the circus for a theme...