Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Party Debrief

Whew! I can honestly say I'm glad that the weekend is over. 
It was a great weekend, but it was very busy and Saturday was go, go, go! 

Looking back at Cora's party, overall I'm happy. The party served it's purpose, we gathered for fellowship and celebration of our little pumpkin. I'd like to think I also learned a few things that I can apply to future parties and events. 

Hosting in a Park - I won't say that I won't ever do this again, but there are certainly pros and cons to this venue.
  • Pros:
    • The playground is the activity for the kiddos
    • Bubbles & sidewalk chalk provide any additional activities you need - no need to plan extra games.
    • No party prep at home
    • It's less expensive than many out of home venues
  • Cons:
    • You have to bring everything, nothing is provided
    • It's not a private venue
    • Outdoors, weather is unpredictable.
If we were to host at a park again, I don't think we'll serve a meal. I think simple is key here - cake, maybe ice cream (if you can keep it frozen before serving) and if anything else, maybe a simple party platter. It started getting complicated when we were dragging in a grill and hot dogs, fixings and sides etc. 
Decorations also got tricky. We hung Cora's baby blankets on a clothes line as a simple decoration, that was easy enough and actually came in handy to provide extra shade (see the weather note, on October 25th it was a high of 90! It was getting hot!). I also brought most of my fall decor and set pumpkins out on all the tables and had her wagon holding the pumpkins I decorated for her. If I host at a park again, I have one word... balloons! Simple enough and less work than all the other stuff. 

As we planned this party we also decided how we're going to handle future birthday parties. Both financially and for my sanity, we aren't going to throw a birthday party every year. Especially since we assume we're going to have a few more kiddos - that's a lot of parties if we do them every year!
We decided that we will have a special birthday celebration on even birthdays and occasionally make exceptions for special odd years like 1, 13, 15. 

On the even years, the special celebrations won't always be a party. It may be a special trip somewhere and maybe Cora (or a future sibling) would get to take a friend. The odd years that don't have a special birthday celebration we will continue with my family tradition of a home cooked meal and a special homemade cake!

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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