I only had a few birthday parties as a child, and that's fine. That's how it was back in my day. Now we know lots of children who have a party every year; I'm not sure if it's because our culture has changed or because we live in such an affluent area.
Anyway, the compromise tradition for our family is that you host your first birthday party when you turn four (before then, a party is more for the adults than the kids, in my opinon), and have another every other year. Rebecca turned six on Sunday (!), and hosted a princess tea party.
The vast majority of our birthdays are celebrated at home. (Right now I can't think of any "away" parties, but it is past my bedtime, so I could be forgetting something . . .) This week I noticed one of the things I like best about a homemade party: the anticipation and excitement of preparation.
Becca loved thinking about and planning her party. We talked about the pinata for weeks. We were going to make one, but in the end I bailed and bought the perfect castle at the party store. Instead of waiting for Sunday, we hung it (empty) over the kitchen table so we could enjoy it right away.
The castle pinata led to the cake design decision. I had lots of helpers (and audience) for cake decorating--a cone icer/sprinkler, marshmallow sorter, drawbridge constructer, etc. By the way, those pink marshmallows tasted awful--not even one child liked them!
Marianna and Becca spent days culling their Halloween candy for pinata donations. We took our big board off the table, revealing a perfectly sized venue for tea time (Marianna called it "tiny and pathetic"--we miss our college kids). Rebecca squealed with delight when she came downstairs Sunday morning to find the table prettily set.
here or here.
I've been meaning (for months) to write posts about birthday parties. Marianna had a fun one this year, with a great plant potting activity. And Joe's 12th birthday (October 2009) was probably the best boy party we've ever had. Now that I've mentioned them, they'll have to be blogged, right?