Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Homemade Birthday

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.

She and Marianna made and arranged place cards.  See what I mean about anticipation?  Spreading out the getting ready and sharing the preparations made the fun last so much longer.
Rebecca also came downstairs to find her family presents on display.  She had to wait until after Mass to open them.  The big one is a dollhouse (wrapped in a tablecloth)--Craigslist, yeah!

We served a three course tea:  sandwiches, scones, and cake.  For details of fancier tea parties, go here or here.

 Cardboard buckets serendipitously found at Target:

Len hung the pinata outside.  Becca wanted to save it, so the girls pulled the ribbons one by one rather than beating the castle to pieces.  None of the ribbons actually opened the trap door, so Daniel opened it (the door) with a sword and shook and shook and shook to rain the candy onto the girls.
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?


Marisa said...

Becca is six?! Already?! How time flies. Looks like an lovely party. Good job mom :)

Mom/Mimi said...

Hi Sweetie,
I know I've said it before but... can I be your kid? You are such a loving Mother and make everything so special for your children. Bravo!
Maybe you will post some pictures of the doll house soon. I'd love to see it.
Love ya,

Melissa G said...

You can add "party planner" to you many skills! Please, please blog about the other parties- especially the boy party. I need ideas!


Melissa G said...

You can add "party planner" to you many skills! Please, please blog about the other parties- especially the boy party. I need ideas!