In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finding the Birthday Balance

It's that time again--time to plan Christa's birthday.

Actually, I'm a bit late this year. Christa's a Christmas Eve baby, but our trip out of town delayed her kids birthday party until this month. Not to worry, though. She celebrated with all her cousins on the 24th!

I promised Christa a birthday party with her friends when we got back to Colorado. Last year we did the old-fashioned, at-home birthday party with games and crafts and all the set up and clean up that involves. It was fun--and lots of work. Thank God for my two older daughters who jumped in and helped with icing cookies and painting puppy faces on the guests.

This year I'm going the easy route and we're celebrating Christa's birthday at a local gymnastics studio. We decided on the gymnastics studio after considering the craft store, the roller skating rink and a local arcade. There are lots of options for birthday parties these days! I'll let the staff handle all the planning and preparation. We'll show up, have fun--and leave the clean up behind.

Planning the invite list is always a challenge. Christa wants to invite everyone. Everyone.

I convinced her that's just not possible and we condensed her list. We decided to invite just the girls in her class. After all, she took cupcakes in for the whole class before the Christmas holidays. So, just the girls--that's 12 guests. But what about Christa's friends outside of school? Before I know it, we're up to 19 guests--and the gymnastics studio limits us to 20.

I confess: I thought about having two separate parties to accomodate all her friends. But I talked myself out of it.

So now I'm addressing invites because I promised to get them in the mail today. I've already started thinking about the goody bags for the guests. I have a love-hate relationship with goody bags. Do you buy lots of little things or just one or two things, like crayons and a cute notebook? Do you stick with a theme? I can seriously over-think goody bags. Christa has lots of fun filling those up for her friends to take home. And I figure it's a way for her to think about giving to others.

Am I the only mom who finds birthday parties challenging? I want to do it right--but not over do it. I want to celebrate my child--but not make her think the world revolves around her.
Or maybe that's okay for one day a year?

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