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If you have a child that is born in December, celebrating with a party can be quite a challenge. Before I had children, one of my friends told me that children’s parties were very “competitive” these days, which at the time struck me as odd and I thought that he may be exaggerating. Nope. He was right … or maybe it’s just here. My children are invited to parties with a guest list of 70 to 150 children (plus parents and siblings ?!?!) with every form of entertainment you can imagine. When did it become a three-ring circus and what ever happened to the sweet, little parties of our youth? Those were great!

None of these large 70-150 children parties have to contend with cold weather either, which keeps them indoors and throws a monkey-wrench in burning off the exuberance that seems to multiply in intensity with each munchkin added. Since I don’t want to spend that kind of money on a children’s party that they A.) may not remember and B.) would have just as good of a time if I put them in a room full of balloons, balls and dogs, I keep the girls’ parties on a smaller scale and just invite their little classmates/close friends.

What better solution to a December birthday than a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus?

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I let the parents know ahead of time so that they could be prepared with cameras and whatever outfit in which they wanted their children photographed.

After the children arrive, Mr and Mrs. Claus sneak in and he announces their arrival by playing bagpipes, which I adore!

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The children listen to stories…

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…and they all get a turn with him. The brilliant thing is, he has an earpiece and I have all the info on the children being read to him, so he knows everything! I had asked each parent to provide me with whatever they wanted him to say, agree to, praise them for, suggest they may need to improve upon and family details (pets, siblings, names, etc.) 

ADetailedHouse1209127If my older daughter knew the older siblings, they were invited too so that she would have some play mates.

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Blowing out the candles on her cake!

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I’ve shown these before, but I prefer to give out invitations as opposed to Evites because children love to “get mail”.

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I love throwing big parties – the planning, the details, the decorating – but I’m not going to go “all out” for my child’s birthday in terms of number of guests. I can barely keep track of mine, let alone more little bodies floating around!

You would think after my last post, I would be reticent to put children in a “nicer” room with silk and velvet sofas, but I like to use ours rooms and don’t believe a living room is to be “looked at” but not entered. Our Christmas tree is in there and the room makes for a wonderful backdrop for pictures, which is why I opted to use that room for (gasp!) part of the children’s party. (I only had problems with one child continually climbing on the sofas, despite her mother being there, who noticed but was too busy talking or just lets her children climb on their furniture at home).

The dining room was set up the same way with the same serving pieces, trays and chafing dishes I would use for an adult party and I also opted for glasses and crystal plates so as to delineate the occasion as a very special one. But, to be fair, the plates and glasses were not Baccarat crystal, so I wouldn’t flinch if one got broken!

(Note to brides: I figured out a long time ago, if you intend to have more than one large party, it makes more financial sense to buy the pieces as opposed to renting them. I have a ton of glasses, goblets, champagne flutes, etc. and the crystal plates I got on an incredible sale from Horchow and went ahead and ordered 12 sets of 12 for the first large party we had. They make wonderful hors d’oeuvres plates.)

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