Planning birthday parties used to be my thing. I would have every thing organized well in advance, I would push myself to outdo the year before. Parties just got bigger and better every year, and I got more and more stressed every year.
The biggest stress was always Ethan’s birthday, because he is a December baby. December is already stressful enough, add in trying to plan a birthday, and finding a date that won’t mean half the people can’t attend because they are at Christmas parties, and you have a recipe for disaster.
This past December, I asked Ethan if he would like to push his party to January, since more people would be likely to make it. He agreed that was a good idea, so we did. The only problem is, once the birthday is past, there is no pressure to actually get anything booked or have the party.
Then February rolled around, and it was Eleanor’s birthday, she kept waffling on what kind of party she wanted, and I felt like I couldn’t plan her party before Ethan’s, so her plans kept getting pushed too. Not to mention, she is 14, and I’m sort of on the fence about how old you are before you no longer get birthday parties. She insists it’s 16, at which time I should plan some ginourmous sweet sixteen ball for her. I told her she needed to move to the States.
So, that brings us to April. Still no birthday party for the December baby, as of yet. No party insight for the 14 year old, and TWO babies born in April. The younger babies (turning 9 and 4.) Their birthdays are April 27th and 29th. It was April 23 when I decided something needed to be done to stop the birthday avoidance madness.
Our 4 year old, does not go to daycare, and she is really only friends with my friends children, or people in her gymnastics class. I decided she would have just a small party with a few friends, and the parents and siblings could come for a BBQ dinner too. Then I made a HUGE decision. I decided I was not going to plan the party any further than that.
I texted my friends and told them the details “Party for Siobhan Saturday, 3:00, you’re welcome to stay for dinner.”
That was it. It was last minute, there were no invitations, no fuss, and no big plans.
The day of the party, I went to the grocery store and grabbed some hot dogs and hamburgers. My nine year old (with a little help from the birthday girl) baked a cake, and a gluten free cake for our two guests who are gluten free, and I picked up a fruit tray and some snacks. I went to the dollar store and picked up some balloons and loot bags, which I filled with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a Kinder egg.
That was it. When people arrived, we welcomed them in, and told the kids to go play. The parents sat together, and had a couple of drinks, while the kids ran rampant (Lord of the Flies style) in our basement and backyard.
It. Was. Awesome.
Zero stress, and everyone was happy!
Now I guess I have a few more parties to catch up on. I’ll see how little planning I can do for those too.