This past weekend, we celebrated my daughter’s seventh (OMG) birthday with a small party at home. We believe that birthdays are very special, and it’s our tradition to give each of the girls a party every year—but this year, my daughter’s birthday was different than any of her previous parties.
For one, it was the first time that we did not combine family and friends into one big party, so there were significantly less people—last year we topped out at 40 to 45 guests, whereas this year we had a total of seven friends. That, in fact, was the second big change from previous years—it was the first time that the kids were dropped off and left. Though invited to stay, not one parent remained during the party. (I don’t blame them.)
We always do the party at home, not because a party at home is cheaper or easier (it’s not), but because I really like entertaining, and enjoy adding personal, special touches for my daughters and their guests. If the party had a theme, it was definitely DIY. OK, maybe princess sparkles DIY, but the emphasis was definitely on the DIY aspect.
We began by fixing make-your-own pizzas, where every guest was given a Greek pita as a base, then layered on whatever toppings they wanted from the assortment I had prepared and laid out.
After the pizzas were eaten and cleaned up, I got the craft ready. Each child was given a wooden picture frame, which they decorated with an array of foam letter and shape stickers, feathers, pompoms, tiny flowers and glitter glue. I was totally impressed by the level of creativity and focus the girls put into their frames, and the results were fabulous.
Next, the girls were each given a frosted homemade cupcake, and topped them with all the sprinkles, candies, glitter sugar and gummy bears they could fit. When they were done, we took a picture of each girl with their cupcake, which we printed and put into the frames while the guests went outside to destroy a piñata.
We barely had time to open presents before parents arrived to pick up their kids, two-and-a-half hours later. Each child left with a loot box my daughter had put together (no candy; just stickers, a pencil, pad of paper and ring) and their frame, which the parents seemed to love. It was a chance not only to see something that their child had created, but the picture in the frame gave them a glimpse of how the afternoon had gone and the fun that was had.
I don’t know if seven is just the most chilled-out age ever, or if our planning was happily disaster-proof, but at the end of the day, a good time was had by all. And that’s really the only goal, isn’t it?
How do you celebrate your child’s birthday?
Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of canadianfamily.ca.