Family Parties: Combining Spring Celebrations
Every May, our family celebrates my son’s birthday – this year he is turning 6! But unlike years past, this year, his birthday celebration was not only a little early but also a little unique. His big sister received her First Communion this May and that too deserved a celebration.
With family coming anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes away, I decided to combine the two parties. My son and daughter are best buds so I knew they wouldn’t mind and in fact would love sharing the day. Making the decision to combine the celebrations was the easy part, pulling off two party themes, one religious and one not so much…well, that was a bit trickier than I expected. I also went back and forth on whether or not to do invitations this year. After all, I couldn’t exactly figure out how to combine the two themes into one invitation and really, it was mostly family coming to the party anyway. But about two weeks before the party date, mother’s guilt kicked it and I decided to do two invitations sent in the same envelope. I like to make my own invitations so this really wasn’t too much work.
As for the parties, here’s what we did to make sure each child received a little spotlight on multiple moments throughout the two days. Two days because, while the party was Saturday, we gave our son his birthday present on Friday – a brand new basketball hoop. As he came off the bus he was greeted with a sign on the driveway made out of chalk by his fabulous sister and then the basketball hoop decorated with balloons. He LOVED his present!
On Saturday, with church and the official First Communion in the morning, I was challenged with needing to have everything ready to go the day before. That morning there was just enough time to put out the decorations and set up some food that could be ready for when guests arrived (potentially before we did since we’d be taking pictures at the church). By 8:45 a.m. we were off to the hairdresser’s. Yes, the hairdresser’s. Earlier in the week, after speaking to my older and wiser sister, I decided to schedule a hair appointment for my daughter. Fancy hair styles are not my talent. I struggle enough with putting a pony tail in my daughter’s hair (not because I can’t but it often sounds like I’m torturing her when I’m simply brushing her hair). Best decision ever. We were dressed and ready to go with plenty of time to not only get her a fancy updo, but to also arrive to the church early. As an added bonus, I took some time to fill out Mother’s Day cards and organize myself for the day while she was pampered.
Everything went smoothly at the church. And then, after church, as expected, everyone arrived at the exact same time. What I didn’t expect was how famished everyone would be. I couldn’t get food out fast enough. 24 deviled eggs gone in 5 minutes! 50 cocktail hot dogs didn’t even make it off the cookie sheets – kids just stood there with plates. I even had to make a second batch of dip for the veggies and pulled out a back-up appetizer from the freezer. One thing about both our families is that they love to eat, especially when most of them skipped breakfast to attend a First Communion!
My son’s friend party will be at a bowling alley so I stuck with that theme, decorating the outdoor patio table as such and making bowling pin cookies as favors. I went with pink and white for the First Communion decorations and the kitchen table was the central place for those decorations. My daughter got a cake that was covered in over a hundred candied flowers I made earlier in the week (thanks to a cake idea I saw on Pinterest) and my son got his request, a “cake” (or tower) of brownies. I also had mason jars out for beverages – these too doubled as party favors.
When it came to dessert time, we sang Happy Birthday to my son and Happy First Communion my daughter. Each of them felt very special in their own well-deserved way. As is usual, while guests lingered until nearly 7:00 p.m., the party still felt like it was over so fast I think I almost missed it. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, but lucky for me, the next day was Mother’s Day and I had a lengthy massage and lunch with my girlfriends to look forward to.
In hindsight, I’m thrilled I decided to combine both parties and looking back the only thing I would have changed was having more appetizers (since all six varieties just wasn’t enough!). Everything was perfect and I went into Mother’s Day feeling lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful family, great kids and an amazing husband to help pull off a party for two.
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- Bright Horizons Online Community: Parent Conversations about Birthdays & Birthday Parties
- E-family news: Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party without the Stress
- Bright Horizons on Pinterest: Kids Birthdays & Parties Board
- Read more posts about birthdays and posts about spring from the Family Room bloggers