Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cora's First Birthday - It's becoming a Circus!

Circus Party
Vintage Circus + Carnival Party
Initially when I started thinking (and pinning ideas like a mad woman) I wanted Cora's first birthday to be a huge backyard bash with a Vintage Circus theme. We were going to have horse shoes and washers for the adults to play, a photo booth, and carnival food galore! I was so excited for this party!

Then I started working on a guest list. I can't leave anyone out, it's my baby's first birthday after all! Before I knew it our guest list was at 75 people (and I wasn't finished making it)! 75 for a first birthday!?!? I started stressing out, where were they all going to fit? Should we rent the Community Center? Oh that's another $200... so use the back yard and pray it doesn't rain because there isn't room to move it inside?!? What will all that food cost?

Don't get me wrong, I've had guest lists that long (and much longer) for events. And Cora's first birthday is a special event.... but it got me to thinking about how does this Circus ever stop???

I'm one of four kids and we feel the Lord leading us towards having a large family. With kids I'm all about fairness, so if I throw a Circus of a party for Cora, I will feel obligated to do so for the rest of our future children. And if we throw this three-ringed circus for her first party, why not her second, and third and every party until she's grown with hundreds of dollars and piles of stress for Mommy and Daddy.

Emily's Vintage Circus Themed Birthday Party: great ideas for decor and food table.
Pinterest makes it easy, easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones'. If I don't throw a Pinterest worthy party, is it worth having the party? I know the answer to that, but still it's a hard thought to banish from my mind.

Growing up we had very simple birthday celebrations; we would gather as a family, usually the grandparents and aunts/uncles that lived near-by joined us as well. It was at someones home or at a park. We ate a family meal (as we got older Mom took birthday meal requests), had a cake that my Mom made and beautifully decorated (store bought cakes were rare!), and opened a few gifts. In all my childhood, I only had 2 birthday parties that included more than a friend joining us for dinner. My 3rd grade party and an 18th birthday bash that my bestie and I threw for ourselves.

When my Granny hosted the birthday dinners, we had a tradition of rolling out a piece of tye-dye butcher paper on the dining room table and everyone would trace their hands and write their name and age under their hand print. In the middle she would write "Happy Birthday Rebekah" and it was a special tradition that I look back on with fondness. 

Those are the kinds of birthdays I want my kids to have, or some middle ground between the Circus and family only events. I won't say we won't break out some Pinterest ideas here and there but the extravagance just isn't practical for us.

What were your childhood birthdays like?
Do you throw big birthdays every year for your children? How do you draw the line/budget?
What's a family birthday tradition you have?

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