Remember when you were a kid and you'd have your birthday party? You usually had a blast, running around the yard with your friends, your mom made some watered down Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch, you ate hot dogs with some plain potato chips for lunch, and then out came your cake-- probably something your mom made (with the help of Betty Crocker) or a grocery store bakery cake with the requisite frosting roses. Decorations were some crepe paper streamers, a paper table cloth emblazoned with HAPPY BIRTHDAY and that same HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner that your parents busted out for every birthday for every person in your family. Planned activities, if there were any, were along the lines of a 3-legged or potato sack race.
And your party was AWESOME, right?
But now thanks in large part to Pinterest, the pressure is on to create birthday parties worthy of a 4 page spread in Martha Stewart Living. Over the top theme parties are no longer the realm of the Candy Spellings of the world, oh nooooo, now all us regular moms have to throw them too. And then blog about that shit.
According to my vast Pinterest research, I have learned that every party needs:
- A theme. NO, not just "Mickey Mouse," but "MICKEY MOUSETOPIA" or "AMAZING MATTHEW'S MIGHTY MICKEY MOUSE-TASTIC PARTY EXTRAVAGANZA"
- A "treats" table, covered in at least 15 yards of fabric you purchased just for the party (but no worries, you're so crafty you'll just turn that fabric into commemorative wall art and throw pillows that your child will treasure for always). Behind the treats table, you must also have a backdrop of some kind (though it must include a pennant banner with your child's name on it). On the table you must have no less that 28 types of sweet treats, all labelled with adorable thematic name cards-- You may not call them "malt balls" you must call them "Miska, Mooska, Malted Balls." Items on this table must be on antique cake stands at varying levels for maximum appeal.
- You must provide not only cake, but also cake pops, and cupcakes. All of these items must be thematic and gluten free. Preferably from a fancy-schmancy bakery.
- A totes adorbs chalkboard menu of all the thematic foods (so Hot Diggity Dogs and Mickey Mouse Club Sandwiches). This menu MUST look as though a professional chalk artist created it. Bonus points if the frame of the chalkboard is made of vintage barn wood that's paint has been distressed and matches the color scheme of the party.
- Did I mention color scheme? Yup, your party needs that. You may NOT use anything that does not fit within the color scheme
- At LEAST 12 crafts/activity stations. There should be a lot of hand-crafting, such as needlepoint or origami going on here. Perhaps think about renting a loom. What's that? You're getting a bounce house? Wow. Way to not commit to the party. It is like you don't even love your child!
- Personalized treat bags and party hats (No paper. These should be authentic mickey mouse ears from Disneyland) for each guest. The treat bags should be linen and hand embroidered with each guest's name.
- A kid's table decorated with all the thematic crap you can imagine. This should NEVER just be your family patio table and/or dining table. It should be a kid sized table and chairs rented specifically for this occasion. You should have several glass items and as much "authentic" memorabilia as possible.
- The birthday child's name should show up no less than 4,000 times. Because your job as a parent is to ensure your child grows up to be a narcissist.
- Actual flatware, glassware and china. Because nothing says "fun three year old's party" like toddlers and breakable dishes!
Charlie "phoning it in and getting a bounce house" Egan
PS-- Just found a pin about dressing up your band aids with washi tape. File that under "are you shitting me?" They make decorated band aids. I know, because I have 4 boxes of them in my linen closet.