I love event planning. The most stressful events to plan?
My kids’ birthday parties. No joke. Those were more stressful than high-budget events, fundraising events, or events attended by hundreds of people. I wanted it to be perfect for the birthday girl, and also for the other kids, and also for the adults…
I’ll start by saying that those of you who throw amazingly awesome birthday parties and do so with a sincere smile on your face and joy in your heart—you are super cool! I am not one of you. If you saw me at one of my kids’ birthday parties—or even a Falcon cookout—chances are the smile was fake and I wasn’t joyful, I was overwhelmed and frustrated.
I’ll openly admit those parties were more for me than the kids. I KNEW the kiddos wouldn’t remember much of them, and they didn’t care about the food that was served or if there were decorations. I did though. I needed to think that they would think that it was a super special day and that they would look at the detail put into it and know I thought they were special. Ha!
The last year or so I’ve really focused on making the events I host laid back—for those attending and for me. (COVID helped by limiting how many I could invite and what we could do) I think I finally nailed it for Graycie’s birthday party this weekend.
Kids Don’t Need Much for it to be Special…
That’s right. The elaborate stuff is usually for us anyways.
What did I do for Graycie’s outdoor birthday party? Not much. I invited three families via Facebook. I ordered pizza and a Giant-brand Frozen themed cake (I let G pick the cake theme). Chris went out and grabbed some good beers for the adults. I put some sidewalk chalk and dress up clothes out. And then…I said “yes” a bunch to the things the kids asked for.
“Can you put up a tent in the yard?”
“Can you put up another tent?”
“Can we bring the kitchen set out?”
“Can the neighborhood kids stay?”
YES! (If they wear masks)
I let G open presents whenever she wanted. I did set a time for the cake and singing Happy Birthday because we had family and friends calling in via Messenger to join in. That was pretty much it. The kids had a great time and I think the adults did too.
On her actual birthday (yesterday) the local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group did a drive-by parade for her that was amazing! But all I did for that was reach out on Facebook and then decorate a spot with her to sit and watch the parade.
I’ll be completely honest…I didn’t even wrap a gift this year. I remembered to give her our gift last night and just threw it in a bag and covered it with a cloth handkerchief.
Kid’s Party Tips for Low Stress
1-Order the food if you want to feed people
2-Remember kids really do just like to play
3-Beer helps keep parents entertained
4-Use what you have
6-Remember it is for them, not you
7-You don’t have to spend money! You aren’t obligated to feed anyone and you’re not obligated to have cake. If you want cake/cupcakes, baking those yourself from a box is easy and super cheap. I find that cupcakes are the easiest to mess with.
Love others. Love self. Love coffee.
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