Sunday, March 28, 2010

5 Essential Party Planning Tips

It is that time of year—The Beast’s birthday MONTH…because in this family we celebrate the ENTIRE month.

Now that the child is older I was hoping to get away from the big home parties, but the child hates to leave friends out—so once again we had a house full of screaming, giggling girls and one husband constantly saying: “SHHHHH.” It is a sad battle, but one that seems inevitable.

As a public service to newer mothers I have compiled some essential tips for a perfect home party—just follow these simple rules:

1. Pick a Theme
o A theme will help you and YOUR child focus. (Sweetheart, put down that troll, we can do a troll party next year, this year is your Beautiful Butterfly Birthday party...don’t you want to wear those beautiful butterflies wings we just bought you?) The child re-focuses and you are saved countless dollars.
o Once you have a theme—there is no need to go to one of those expensive party stores. Dollar stores, Target clearance shelves, on-line cheap-o-party stuff...spend enough to get free shipping and use any money left over for alcohol for parents.

2. Invite with Care
o Nothing ruins a party faster than a brat. Generally by age three the brats and their oblivious parents have been clearly identified via various nursery school functions or other peoples parties.
o I have never been a supporter of inviting the whole class or all the girls or all the boys.
o We all know there are some kids who are better at parties than others. You may love little Betsy who reads constantly and you should invite her, but remember to invite the fun, high energy know who they are and you should invite at least two. And the bonus is that their parents tend to be fun too.

3. Do NOT Try to be Too Creative
o Now is NOT the time to be Martha Stewart. The kids will not appreciate it and the other parents will just hate you for it. It is a lose-lose situation.
 Buy a cake—do not make cute themed cupcakes.
 Buy cheap decorations—do not paint murals on Kraft paper and hang them will just embarrass your child.

4. Have Grown-up Refreshments
o Nothing is more appreciated by parents at a party full of wild, screaming kids than a beer or a glass of wine.
o Cheeze Doodles are fine for children, but spring for some cheese and crackers for the adults or something to go with the beer.

5. Buy Decorations that will Double as Prizes or Giveaways at the End of the Party
o Let’s be honest, by the end of the party you will never want to see another butterfly, dinosaur, monkey etc. Give those inflatable dinosaurs, absurdly large flowers, and coconut shaped cups away—I promise you. You will never use them again.

This year’s theme—A Literary Masquerade Ball where all the girls came as their favorite fictional character. We had Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, Olivia the Pig, Eloise at the Plaza, PipPi Longstocking, Tom Sawyer, two T.S. Elliott Cats, Ralph from UP, several characters from present day novels, King Tut and the Beast was Artemis , goddess of the hunt and protector of maidens. Way to Go Artemis!

A good time was had by all. No brats, no fights, just happy children and happy wine drinking adults.

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