Screw chronological order. I'm starting my birthdaypalooza catch-up with the kids' party. The girls wanted a Mad Hatter's tea party themed birthday, and Waylon did not object. Rolling three kids' birthday parties into one is a great deal, so I'm hoping they may go for that idea again in the future.
So why am I writing this party up as if this is a style blog and anyone cares about the details? I don't know, maybe because I think my friend Susan would enjoy it. Here goes.
The invitations may have been my favorite part. I ordered a pdf on Etsy to print from home.
Georgia helped me make the paper garland and the balloon caterpillar. My mom made the giant cupcake chair covers from poster board. She also loaned me most of the fancy tiered trays and teapots. The Mad Hatter's hat is actually a Christmas decoration - a snowman's hat borrowed from a family friend and made-over to fit the occasion. The favors were an assortment of teacups from the local flea market and goodwill, with store-bought Chessmen cookies inside that said "Eat Me" on the packaging. Rather than using tablecloths, which I feared the children would accidentally rip off the tables, we wrapped the tables in white butcher paper to spiff them up. I planned to borrow folding chairs from my sister for the occasion, but the day before the party, I happened upon four wonderful (though well-loved) wooden chairs in the alley, which I happily stuffed in the van. Score! As you'll see from the photos, children were invited to come in costume or tea party regalia. We also did a new or gently used children's book exchange in lieu of other gifts. (This being the second time we've done that, you'd think I'd have my execution of the concept down, but the logistics still needed help. In the end, though, I think every child went home with a new-to-them book.) Our only organized game was "toss the sugar cube in the teacup" - which probably also could've used a little more forethought on my part about the specifics, but the kids didn't seem to mind us making it up on the fly. I was going to offer "pin the smile on the Cheshire cat" as well, but ran out of time the morning of the party to draw a giant cat. Oh well, the show must go on!
(Sorry the pics are a little jumbled but they were taken with multiple cameras and I'm too lazy to put them in order.)
June loved her cupcake chair but opted to sit next to it. I love it how Harry and Georgia ended up at the heads of the table.
Do you have ANY idea how happy the above photo makes Joe and me? I mean, Georgia? With school friends? Smiling like crazy? I could cry.
I call this photograph "Table For One". : )
Nice, Maggie. Amidst all this chaos, you manage to make your children look peaceful, studious, and angelic.
You can decorate and make a fuss over the kids all you want, but in the
end they are going to find a way to play in a clump on the floor outside
the door to your laundry room and then all get on one bed.
So there you go. Granted, we used paper plates and plastic cups and whatnot, but overall I was pleased that this party did not create too much additional "stuff" coming into the world.
We had a great time, but just watch - next year I'll probably be steering them towards an out-of-the-house party venue with evites (as we did in 2011). Yin and yang, ebb and flow, gotta have balance and all that jazz. All I'm saying is, funny how "simple" doesn't always equate to "easy".
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