We celebrated Bodhi’s fourth birthday with close friends yesterday with a Wild Kratts animal themed party. Bodhi chose the theme and I worked very hard to incorporate the Wild Kratts without losing myself and my dislike for hosting character parties. I used small touches and a fabulous graphic designer to incorporate the Kratt brothers, the Wild Kratts logo, creature power discs and more in subtle ways.
This year I really scaled back, only inviting Bodhi’s friends that he plays with pretty regularly. I had a master list of everyone I love first and then seriously asked myself if Bodhi had played with each child in the last year or even two. If the answer was “no,” I kept it smaller. I had a really hard time cutting down our list and still feel weird about it, but it’s just impossible to host 40 plus kids and not get overwhelmed. In the past, we’ve invited all of our amazing friends and their kids as well, but it was honestly just too much for an at-home party. The size this year felt much more manageable for all. We also separated out our family this year, instead hosting them for a party tomorrow on Bodhi’s real birthday.
I was very late to the planning game this year, but fortunately, had some really easy ideas for party backdrops and the one thing I had done in advance was book The Raptor Center to come out with a Great Horned Owl, a Perigrine Falcon and a fun presentation. We kept it a surprise from Bodhi until about five minutes before. He was thrilled.
I’ll share the entire party later this week. I wanted to share one big learning. If there is something about party planning that stresses you out or that you simply do not enjoy, consider outsourcing it. For me, the food (not the dessert) is always the big stressor. I don’t enjoy planning the menu. I don’t enjoy the last minute craziness of setting it up. So, I simply ordered pizza and served carrots and fruit cups for the main lunch. It was a huge time saver and it allowed me to seriously enjoy the party. I got to sit during the entire presentation. I got to chat with our guests and enjoy observing Bodhi. It was just one little decision I made that guests probably didn’t notice or care about that seriously saved my sanity.
Take it easy on yourselves, friends! Do the stuff you love. Skip the stuff you don’t. For me, the decorations, party favors and desserts are the fun part. I spent my energy there instead of on the things I don’t enjoy. Cheers to a new week!