I am a big fan of birthdays. Yes, even my own. The way I see it, I have earned each year and I think it only right to celebrate all the accomplishments, the joys, the tears, even the mistakes that I have learned from.
This is even truer for my kids. It’s the day that I get to remember the best days of my life…they day God gifted me and my husband with our wonderful boys.
This year I wasn’t on the ball when it came to my older son’s birthday. It happened to fall during one of the weeks of winter holidays so everyone he invited was away. Try to explain to an almost 6 year old why none of his friends want to come to his party. Fortunately my son is pretty mature for his age, and when he listened to my mistake and our plan to fix it, he perked right up.
Now, all I had to do was come up with that plan to fix it!!! And on an after-Christmas budget no less.
I checked around to see what kind of birthday packages I could find. May I just say while I understand the convenience of having a party outside of the house – no muss, no fuss – some of the prices are, well, insane!!! But they did prove to give me some inspiration if nothing else.
One of the things we looked into was a movie theatre party. Since my son loves to watch movies, especially on the big screen I thought why not have an in house movie theatre experience. With the loan of a projector from a friend, a few big white sheets put up in our window (with our curtains to act as the outline, much like that in a real theatre), we were on our way. With the purchase of a hot air pop corn popper, and the re-arranging of the furniture to resemble rows of seating, we had it, our very own movie theatre. Oh, and of course, a new released dvd from our local video store. It was great. We dimmed the lights and everyone sat and watched on our “big screen”.
After the movie, we played a game. A sort of pick your own loot bag idea. For the boys we got Mighty Beanz cases (that we bought from the dollar store as oppose to paying $15 each at a larger named establishment) and a bunch of Might Beanz. For the girls we bought fuzzy pencil cases, lip balms, girly rings and Princess stamps (also from the dollar store). One item each was carefully placed inside of a balloon – blue for the boys, pink for the girls – and hooked up to our room divider with paperclips. They stood behind our makeshift line, and threw a dart at the balloons. Whatever feel out, they got to keep. This worked well until the dart started bouncing off of the balloons. So, we just had the kids walk up to the remaining balloons and stick the dart in it.
My son invited some of his friends (the boys) to sleep over and they stayed up for a bit more playing video games on our big screen. All in all, a pretty successful party.
Of course, we had a bunch of brilliant ideas strike us after the fact. But, my son’s birthday blues turned into birthday bells. He went to bed that night quite content, which always makes a mommy and daddy happy.