Throwing a birthday party a few weeks before Christmas has been stressing me out. Last week, I was sure I had lost my mind, but we survived my son’s party yesterday and it was a great day! All that worry and stress was such a waste of time.
My son was the happiest kid on earth yesterday. He had all of his favorite people together in his favorite place-home.
Here’s a few birthday party survival tips that helped keep me sane. Kinda.
At first, I didn’t want to go overboard on the party expense and thought, “Oh, we don’t need one of those things. We can just play games and do a scavenger hunt!” I Googled party game ideas and searched Pinterest to find lots of smiling faces playing games in their backyards.
After about five minutes, I came to my senses. I realized how much planning and expense would actually have to go into having “games” to keep the kids busy, and quickly reserved a blow up obstacle course! Ya’ll? It was worth every bouncy penny! It kept all of the kids active, happy, and best of all-contained.
Stay away from the grill.
Hamburgers and hot dogs sound easy enough, but we’ve learned to turn off the grill and just order pizza!
First of all, meat is expensive. Period.
Secondly, I don’t want my husband stuck standing in front of the grill all day. When it comes to food, keep it simple. We go with pizza. Most pizza chains offer a discount for large party orders if you just ask, and it’s quick and easy. In the past we’ve done the grill, but we learned it’s way more work and much more expensive. Add a few yummy sides and drinks and you’re good to go!
Make the most of your yard.
We have a modest sized home, and to be quite honest, the thought of throwing a party in our home is enough to send me over the edge. I’m not a big birthday kind of person and when we do have parties, I much prefer hosting them at a place. Ya know? Someone else’s place. I’m more of a Chuck E. Cheese’s, have fun, make a mess, and let other people clean it up kind of host.
But, this year my son really wanted to have a party at home. He’s a family man at heart and “home” is probably his most favorite place in the world. I love that about him and I just couldn’t turn him down! I decided to make the most of the yard and pray for a miracle.
We set up the back porch, spread out plenty of seating in the yard, and threw up a pop-up tent for added shade and space. We were blessed with perfect weather and the party was essentially outside. There was plenty of welcomed gathering inside too, but it just wasn’t over crowed. Thank God!
Of course, the bounce house helps keep the majority of the action outside too!
Don’t go overboard on invitations.
We didn’t invite the neighborhood. I let my son invite who he wanted and that was that. After we invited family and a few close friends, our list was big enough. Done! Don’t feel like you have to invite the whole world. Keep it simple. It’s easy to get caught up in inviting this person or that person and before you know it, you have lost your mind.
Keep things moving along.
I’m the kind of birthday party guest that appreciates when things are moving along!
I dread the parties where you’ve already been there for two hours and there hasn’t even been mention of cutting cake. I respect that people might have other engagements. Especially at this time of year.
I think two hours is a good healthy party time. Remember, that time flies for the host at a party, but the guests are waiting for your lead. We cut the cake after about an hour. After that we rotated play time, presents, and pinata during the second hour.
Of course, people were welcome to stay as long as they wanted! We did have a ridiculously sized obstacle course until 6PM, so part of me hoped a few people would linger.
Two of our cousins stayed until dark and played on that jumpy thing! That’s the relaxing part of the day I love. But, it’s important to keep the main flow of the party moving along. It’s just polite for your guests.
The moral of this story: We threw a party in our home and I lived to tell you about it.
What are your birthday party survival tips?
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