08 March 2012

Why Party?

Last weekend I went for coffee with a dear friend, and she told me how her attitude towards kids parties had changed recently. Before, she said, she was just not into them. But as her little ones grow older, she finds that she really wants to celebrate them. So for her, kids parties are back on the menu.

We had a laugh together about that, me the party-nut, and her, the former party-phobe.

It got me thinking about why I do love to party.
It's not like I was ever a party-girl as a young free'n'single gal. Loud music and crowds are not my thing, so its not parties in general that I love.
It's the celebrating.

In our family we love to celebrate.
Every birthday, anniversary, and special occasion will see us hosting a party of some kind.
(Which is kind of odd when you think that I am actually a bookworm introvert)

We love to have people over, to spend time with special people enjoying an occasion together. Whether it's a Light Party, a Birthday Party, an Easter dinner or New Years Eve, the best parties for us are at home.

We don't spend loads of money; we never part with cash for glitzy entertainers or fancy catering. Mr G is the only funny guy we need; he's always willing to dress up and lead the fun. We like our birthday cakes a bit wobbly and homemade-looking.
We get a kick out of thinking up decorations, games and food that we can adapt or make.
We really get a thrill out of creating an atmosphere for our friends to come and enjoy.

Usually the parties involve some kind of dressing up, with Daddy taking the lead. Now the older kids join in with making parties awesome and showing friends a good time. Dash has been "Winnie the Pooh" and "Mr Potato Head" and will star as "Smee" (Captain Hook's sidekick) at the upcoming Peter Pan party. Meanwhile, Miss Fab excels at manning the face-paints.

Even the planning is fun. The kids come up with great ideas now that they're older. They think up stuff that would be cool for each other's parties, not just their own.

{at Dash's Boy vs Wild Party}

It was actually the kids that came up with the Peter Pan Party idea for Scrag.
Miss Fab helped me find ideas to Pin onto his Party Board; they are almost as enthusiastic about each others' celebrations as they are about their own. I like that. (This is something we've been deliberately working on, because it hasn't always been that way).

Celebrating each other is a way of showing appreciation and letting each person know that they're valued and special.

Parties are such a part of our family culture now. The kids even want to have a party for Dave the Female Cat. Can you imagine what kind of birthdays my grandkids will have, with such party-nuts for parents?

For us, Parties and Celebrations are a must.
They are a highlight. A bright spot. A peak in what can sometimes feel like a year of valleys.
"A merry heart does good like a medicine," the Proverb says. And so it does.
When things are feeling grim and heavy, throw a party - even if its just you and your kids.

Celebrations don't have to involve crowds of people or weeks of planning. Sometimes an impromptu "party for no reason" can brighten up a dull or disastrous week.


To help with impromptu parties we have:
  • a huge dress-up collection which has been added to over nine years
  • a crafty box, filled with bits and bobs, a glue gun and leftover party bits, like balloons
  • an icing box, with food colouring, squeezy tubes of gel icing, sprinkles, cachous and candles
  • jar lanterns, candles, christmas lights,  fabric bits,  mosquito nets and tablecloths, for decoration
  • a collection of facepaints and glitter, added to over time, from the good old dollar store

It takes half an hour to whip up a batch of Cupcakes, and set up a pretty table. We raid the cupboards for fruit to chop, popcorn to pop and marshmallows to make it a bit festive. Sometimes we call the neighbours and invite them to share the goodies; sometimes we party on our own. We turn on some music and dance (or ride bikes). Instant party.

A birthday party need take no more work than this, really.
The crucial thing is not the decor, it's the celebration.

Taking a day to let someone know they are a special and valued member of the family. That they are loved and appreciated. King or Queen for a day. Celebrated.

That's why we party.
And this is how we do it...

Our Parties
Toy Story Party (with Rocket Cake)
Tangled (Rapunzel) Party
Boy vs Wild Adventure Party
Peter Pan Party
Brilliant Baking Birthday Party
Wild West Campout Party
Carnival Party Extraordinaire
Ice Skating (Snowflakes) Party
Army Combat Party

A Crazy Rainy Day Party
An Garden Tea Party
Impromptu Garden Party
Bright Light Party (our answer to Halloween)
Party for No Reason (school holiday fun)
Christmas Party
Family-friendly New Years Eve Party
Chinese Theme Dinner
Middle Eastern Theme Dinner
Fancy Schmancy Theme Dinner
Raj Party (Indian) Theme Dinner
Spanish Theme Dinner
Easter Theme Dinner
Star Wars Theme Night
First Class Titanic theme Night
Brave Movie theme night
Cowboy Cookout

Link up Your Parties Here...
Party Linky (with loads of great party ideas)

What about you? Are you a party-phobe, a party-nut or somewhere in between? How does your family celebrate?

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The South African Kiwis said...

Love this, thanks Simone!

Melissa said...

Such an awesome post! I love planning parties too, for any occasion, though since E turned 5 a few years ago I must say I've toned it down a bit. Might have to bust out an Easter Party this year!

Miriam said...

Love the dress ups, am a bit of a dress up addict myself

Sophie said...

oooh we've got a rainbow party coming up for Carys this Sunday and I'm feeling like my plans for bunting and goody bags are a bit feeble but I'm all stuck for ideas! Especially with no car available. Sigh, time to try and amp it up a bit.

Rache said...

I love celebrating special occasions. I love the excitement of planning & seeing the joy on my childrens faces. It's all about making awesome memories.

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