Friday, June 25, 2010

Party Style

Yesterday, I had a conversation with two of my closest friends about their babies' birthday parties coming up this weekend. Each of them is so unique with their own personal style, which is also different than my own as I too prepare for my daughter's birthday in the next few weeks.

One is planning something simple with fun colors and no theme. The other has been hard at work all week on the most stunning details for her Farm themed affair (which I can't wait to blog about...)

There is so much to think about when planning a party: size, budget, guests, theme, colors, cake, food, decorations, venue, music, photographer, favors, etc... It can be pretty overwhelming!

The more I thought about it, the clearer it became that whether you welcome them or dread them, parties are an inevitable part of Parenting.

Here are some guidelines for throwing fabulous parties with little or no pain to you (and your wallet):

1. Parties are fun!!!
Have a positive attitude about the celebration. After all, you are celebrating another year of your child's life with your loved ones, what's not to like about that?

2. Do YOUR best.
I have a personal philosophy that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. This doesn't mean I have to out-do Martha. It just means, I need to do the best I can to honor my kids. The idea of "throwing something together" makes my heart hurt. Even if you are pressed for time or have a tiny budget, you can put together something your kids will enjoy.

3. Be creative.
Your child is into animals but you can't afford to bring in a petting zoo (don't worry, it's out of most people's budget). How about asking a friend to bring their furry pet? Think outside the box and you can save a lot of money.

4. It's in the details.
Truth be told, kids will have a blast running through a sprinkler on a hose while eating popsicles in the front yard because THEY make life fun. They don't need much. But they also understand when you put effort into doing something for them and they feel special when you do. Small details like including a favorite color, favorite food, handmade crafts and their favorite character add a special touch.

5. Start a Tradition.
One of the most fun parts of FAMILY is tradition. Create a tradition with your kids that you do on every birthday. Some of my friends have the tradition of baking the cake together as a family. Those are the details children will remember and treasure for years to come.

6. Plan as far ahead as you can.
The earlier you start to plan, the easier it will be. Spreading out purchases little by little instead of all at once, will make it more affordable. Also, if you are finished planning ahead of time, you have more freedom to actually enjoy your child on their day rather than running around worrying about last minute details.

7. Relax and Enjoy!
As far as I know, no one is giving out awards for the best party. There is no party police that will take you to jail if your party fails to meet a certain criteria. Your child will not resent you for not hiring a clown, neither will they love you more if you rent out the circus. Do the best you can within your budget and without stressing yourself.

Happy Planning to You!!


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