Celebrations: Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Your Kids’ Birthdays
When I asked my girls if they wanted a joint birthday party this year (one has a birthday in April and the other in May) they both gave a unanimous ‘No!” – which I pretty much figured would be the answer. I decided to not push it since they had had a joint party almost every year. I really wanted them to spend time with their classmates but I also had the dilemma about our friends whom I wanted at the party, since they share our everyday life. So I bravely (or stupidly) declared we would have 3 parties, one for each class and one joint one for friends to attend.
As we got down to try and plan the birthday, my almost 6-year-old asked to hold it at a playspace. Now every single invite we have received has been at any place from a bowling alley to an inflatable place or the other so I could see why she got that idea. My answer was simply “No!” Not only was it too expensive but I really did not want to feel pressured to host it there just because everyone was doing it. I also wanted to be a little creative but the truth is crafty I am not. Not being one to give up so easily, I eventually found a theme.
I decided a movie theme would be great. For their own parties they could each choose the DVD to be shown. After searching everywhere for good “movie tickets” like invitation and refusing point blank to buy them at the ridiculous prices I found a free, yes you read correctly “free”, theme in MS Word where you can customize the ticket, stub, and all. Perfect! Invitation - check! We skipped on balloons, I know, I know they really jazz up a birthday but we decided practical this year and did not want money wasted, and instead we bought a popcorn machine. We loved that it used plain old popcorn seeds and felt the small splurge worth the cost since it really would add some fun to any event – movie ones or not.
The cake was from a regular supermarket with just a picture we took to be scanned on the cake (even though the food coloring bothers us) and pizza was going to be the lunch. To make it more fun, we set up a “concession” stand, complete with the popcorn machine (even with cool popcorn bags), a lemonade dispenser, and a bucket of (non candy) snacks. As each kid had their tickets checked in they got 3 plastic coins which they could exchange for an item on the concession table.
Post movie they got to burn some energy on the swing playset outside. So far the first party was a success and I got to know the kids. Better yet, I got to see up-close how my kid reacted with each kid. I can't imagine having a birthday or any celebration fraught with huge bills after, I mean extravagance does not always equal a successful event. Whether or not others may find it weird that we host these parties in our home, it felt great to do it this way and our bank account will thank us for it.
Niri blogs at www.MommyNiri.com where features news, views, reviews and interviews. Read along to learn more about The World according to Mommy Niri. Follow her on twitter @mommyniri.
How do you celebrate your kids' birthdays? What are your tip and tricks for hosting it at your home? What have been your favorite themes? What works? What doesn't?
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