Today, I went out to get the mail with my baby on my hip. I pulled out a catalog from Birthday Express (not sure how I landed on their mailing address...) and, as I flipped through the pages, I noted that I wouldn't want my girls' parties to be like that. Hannah Montana, Disney Princesses, Littlest Pet Shop, Pokeman, SpongeBob, Elmo...blah.
For starters, we're not really into "characters" around here. Second, it's pretty expensive to have everything all matchy-matchy like that. Thirdly, the favors and decor and accessories were all "cheap" and likely to end in the trash bin, unappreciated. Finally, I prefer simpler...more handmade...parties.
I should stop right here and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with big birthday bashes or even character-themed parties (If we get invited to those, we enjoy them thoroughly...even if my 2-year-old doesn't know who the character is on the invitation). It's just not US. Maybe one day my girls will ask for a character-themed party and I'll probably say "yes," but - for now - I prefer "non-branded" parties.
Here's a party idea that is more up my alley: AN ICE CREAM PARTY.
And here's how to plan a perfect one -
A. Send out Invitations.
B. Set up a Make-Your-Own-Sundae Bar with vanilla ice cream and plenty of toppings:
Pictured Above: Ice Cream Topping Carousel ($39.95) by Sur La Table
* Comes with six 3-oz. topping dishes, a 7" ladle, six 5" spoons, and an 8-oz. hot fudge bowl with lid.
C. Plan an activity or two (or don't...sometimes parties without an "agenda" are best).
The activities don't have to be "themed," but if you want them to be...
D. Give out favors (if you want - don't feel obligated).
Come to think of it, this would be a pretty cool party for grown-ups too.
YOUR TURN: Do you host "themed" parties for your kids' birthdays? If so, what themes have you done in the past?