7 Tips for Throwing a Birthday Party
● By Digital Media Director
By: Julie Prairie
As a mom of triplets (two boys and one girl), I’ve been known to go a bit overboard on birthday parties. If you only have to plan one party each year, it should be a really big deal, right? That was my theory.
We had 10 years of giant parties, with themes ranging from the farm to a pirate adventure. We invited what felt like one million kids with cousins, church friends, and classmates. In total exhaustion, I waved the white flag of defeat. This party mom was burned out.
The last few years, each of the kids invited a couple of friends and we’ve spent a few hours at Wild Water West. I simply wave goodbye as they run off, only coming back to our cabana for pizza and sunscreen. It’s bittersweet and blissfully freeing for all of us.
After years of throwing parties, I put together seven sweet tips for keeping the party fun without causing too much stress:
· Serve simple food. Kids are busy playing and usually don’t take much time to eat. We always had too much food at our parties.
· Have plenty of help. Hire a few neighbor teens. Ask your best friends but be willing to help at their next party. Serve them a beverage of their choice after the party.
· Designate a photographer. Give your camera or phone to someone else. Remember to take a family picture with the star of the birthday party and a group picture of the guests. Print the guest picture and send with thank you notes for a great party memory.
· Discourage gifts and encourage donations. We’ve done book drives and humane society donations. If you are accepting gifts, don’t feel obligated to open them at the party. We opened one gift per day when the kids were younger, and it gave us days of enjoyment.
· Keep it short. 1.5 to 3 hours is long enough. Let parents know your information and if they are able to drop off their children and leave.
· Don’t have the party on the day of their birthday. That’s a day for you to celebrate as a family. It also keeps them from getting overstimulated.
· Have fun. Try not to get overwhelmed! Remember that things won’t go according to plan. Someone will cry (probably me!), but years from now your child won’t remember anything except how special they felt.
Birthday parties, big or small, should fit your family and reflect what is important to your kids. Looking back, I’m so glad we had loud, yearly celebrations. I’m equally thrilled I don’t have to do them again. Although, their Golden Birthday will be their Sweet 16…anyone up for a party?