Friday, June 30, 2006

The close of birthday party season declared

As of June 30th, Peanut's nearly four month long birthday party season has ended. During the past four months nearly all of Peanut's friends celebrated the big ONE. Some months were slower than others; between April and May we were at a party virtually every weekend. One notable weekend in early May had a party each on Saturday and Sunday!

While some argue that babies don't need an elaborate first celebration, I think its as much for the parents as it is for the birthday baby. I was really excited to reach this milestone and wanted to throw a party to commemorate. I realize Peanut won't remember any of it, but we will and it was a special day for us, too.

The format was fairly similar for each celebration:
> around 2 hours, usually in the early afternoon
> first some time to socialize, babies play in the center of the room
> about 1/2 hr into the party, some people begin to check out the finger foods
> at about the half way point, baby is strapped into high chair, special birthday hat and bib are put on and parents come out with the small baby cake, we all sing and baby hesitantly digs in as we wait to see how much ends up in the hair, ears and covering baby's face :-)
> separate cake served for guests
> then its present opening time
> and soon after everyone trickles out the door with goody bag in hand

We went to themed parties (Elmo, lady bug, First Birthday animals), parties at the park under a pavillion and parties held at Gymboree. Some more elaborate than others, but for all, clearly a good deal of planning went into them.

Invitations and thank-you cards were usually coordinated to match the themes. Some cards were store-bought and handwritten, others self-designed and computer printed and a few even specially designed and professionally printed with the birthday baby's picture.

Goody bags lined up by the door contained surprises like rubber duckies, notepads, photo albums, picture frame magnets, books, rubber balls and other small gifts. Peanut gave a pinwheel and some sidewalk chalk to her guests. I wonder where the whole goody bag thing got its start? Someone in our group even suggested making an agreement next year to just skip them!

A bonus from the parties was that we got to know the dads better over several rounds of cake and ice cream though there usually only a handful of fathers at the events.

No comments: