Translated from the French - congratulation, years, anniversary.
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Similar stock vectors. For example, we moved to Oakland a few weeks before Ralph turned So we made alternative plans. For many years, I really loved putting together a birthday party. It was always a fun thing to work on with my kids. You could see their imaginations going and see their eyes light up as they pictured the party. We never did big budget affairs, but it was fun and creative. And there was something like a high after throwing a good party. And this simpler vision? Because I still love the planning part. I still love brainstorming with the kids on how to apply the theme to food or party games.
My kids have amazing ideas! I still love the creativity of the whole thing. I get really excited for them during the planning stages, and then I get progressively stressed out as we start to execute the plans.
Picture me talking like an old codger, muttering about wasting time and money. Is there anyone else yearning for really simple birthday parties? Is it a stage of life thing? Have I just maxed out my parenting creativity?
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My parenting energy? Will I feel differently in March when our next birthdays come? Is it the age of the guests? Would I feel more excited planning a party for teenagers? How do you handle birthday parties? Do you love them? Host them every year? Space them out? Avoid them altogether? Oscar is definitely in the tween stage.
So over the Christmas break, we started planning.
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The list also included things like an elaborate Sorting Hat ceremony, sewing wizard robes for everybody, and a full Harry Potter themed menu. It was super fun to make the plans. But as I mentioned above, when we started actually taking action on the plan, I rebelled. I was resistant to spending a ton of energy on this party, when really, Oscar just wanted to hang out with his friends. While we made and drank the butter beer, Ben Blair asked the kids Harry Potter trivia questions. Waiting for hot glue to cool. Waiting for paint to dry. So the kids went back and forth between the family room and the studio which are side by side.
In the studio they would work on their wands, and in the family room, we had the first Harry Potter movie showing on the TV, and the kids could hang out, or play chess. Then they might go work on their wands again. Sidenote, these wands are amazing! We keep those materials on hand so it feels like a totally free activity when we make them.
Oscar likes to request unusual cakes. This time he wanted a chocolate cake with a thick layer of rice crispie treats at the bottom, and he wanted the whole thing frosted with chocolate pudding. Olive made the cake and it turned out wonderfully!
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And that was the whole party. Oscar was delighted! The guests seemed to have fun. We kept it very, very simple. Basic decor, no big expenses, lots of free activities like Trivia, Mafia, Wands. And still, I confess, I was so dang exhausted when it was done. I only have 2 kids and like some of your kids, they have the same bday week. My kids are 11 and 13 and have only had 2 parties each. Some years they have wanted a party but with only a couple kids and I know someone is going to hear about it, so I will suggest they include that child.
Social media makes it worse bc kids post pictures at parties and then even more kids feel left out! Bc their birthdays are the same week, sometimes we will take them both on an outing, like to a Boston Red Sox game!
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Last year when my son turned 11, we had a sleepover campout in the backyard including movies projected on a big screen. They loved it! For my 5 year old, he took his friends to a baseball game at the local university. The games are free if the kids wear their baseball jerseys — I packed Cracker Jacks and pizza and we had a picnic there.
Later they played wiffle ball in the outfield — it was a lot of fun for kids and parents. I totally get this. I do love picking a theme and getting the kids engaged in the activities, but I refuse to spend a lot of money on decorations that will only be thrown away. I make an exception for pinatas. Homemade decor is the best. We ate pizza, had ice cream sundaes, and they played and watched a movie.
He was more than happy with this celebration. As they continue to get older, I will look to them to determine what they want to do to celebrate the day. I love your traditions! I bet the thing your kids will remember most about their birthdays is the breakfast in bed and the cakes. Beach parties are great- have kids bring a boogie board and towel and then provide watermelon, cupcakes and pretzels and few simple games in the sand- always a crowd pleaser!
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Luckily I live somewhere where we can almost always be outside- this is key- outside for crafts games food and running around. More room to breath! Once they are a bit older and ready fro something new, I think of what that kid likes best- swimming, ice skating, theater and then we invite a handful of friends to join us doing that activity- the 13 year old invited 4 friends to go see a play and go out to dinner with her- perfect , simple, no decorations, no fuss just what she likes. Sounds like a great party — but also still sounds like lots of work to me!
Ideally the kids just run around in the yard most of the time though weather is not on our side for our winter baby.
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Always simple but the kids always have a great time. My kids are still really little.
Their birthdays are just three days apart. I find it all completely overwhelming. I never had friend parties when I was a kid, so this is all foreign territory for me. Easiest party ever! The kids had Happy Meals and played for an hour, then presents and ice cream cones and we were done!