I am currently in the trenches. Party. Planning. Trenches. It's a real thing. Time consuming, thought consuming real. Round the clock (it feels like) planning. Every spare moment (almost) busy with something party related. Invitations, cakes, decor, and favors are on the brain lots. No more lazy, boring, uneventful January's for us. Ha!
We have 2 boys born exactly five years and one week apart at our house. Which means their birthdays are super close (February 5th and February 12th), yet so far apart (5 years between them). Soo.... kind of hard to combine parties at this point. And honestly I just couldn't do it this year anyway having one boy so excited about his 6th birthday party and one boy totally clueless yet still about to celebrate with his very own (super special to his family) 1st birthday party. Let's face it, with 5 years difference in age and therefore friends and interests, we may not be combining birthday parties til they both leave the nest.
Which brings me to my tips and notes to self. Cause Januarys just got a whole lot crazier and I need to remember this stuff in the future.
*Plan as much as you can before January. Even if it's the week after Christmas. Check your calendar and tentatively schedule party dates. Ask the boys to start thinking about what kind of party they want. Brainstorm ideas. Check into party locations. If you can do it amist the Christmas busyness and fun, DO IT. No matter how small, just do it.
*Write everything down. There is sooo much to be done you must write it down the second you think of it. To-do lists are your friend.
*First things first. Focus on the first party first. (Ahh. That's been a little tough to do this go round with trying to get the baby book finished for Layton's party and his monkey pictures ready to go to the frame shop and his theme finalized. But I must remember I have weeks between the 2 parties. 3 weeks to be exact. Plenty of time for Layton's party to come together.)
*Do a little bit everyday. With Terrell being out of town this week I've had some extra time on my hands during the evenings so I'm trying to tackle a little "party prep" everyday. Getting invitations ready to mail, working on some DIY decor (very basic... I'm not that talented. Haha.), working on the baby book, picking out party supplies, etc. Doing a little everyday is still a lot of work but much more managable and doable than trying to cram it all in at the last minute. (This is big for me because I don't work so well under pressure.)
*Shop for both parties at the same time. If possible have all of your party supplies, decor, and favors decided in time to shop for everything at once. Two birds with one stone. One trip to Hobby Lobby, Party City, Target, Walmart, wherever. These places aren't 5 minutes away so it's in everybody's best interest (especially mama's) to make one trip.
*Try not to get carried away or stressed out over favors. Favors have always gotten to me. I just prefer favors that go really well with the theme and that aren't all junk or things that will make parents crazy. Whhhhy? Why do I put myself through the stress? Why must I be different and difficult?? Ahhh! Terrell keeps me in check when it comes to how much I spend on the favors but that doesn't stop me from trying to come up with the perfect little theme centered favors every time. Gracious. I need to chill. I need to lower the expectations just a tad. I need to be okay with whatever works... for the budget, the theme, time, etc. Which I think I'm doing a better job of with these 2 parties. Although Layton's favors are still undecided at the moment...
*Don't forget to plan something special for their actual birthdays. Spacing out the parties is a BIG help, but we will still be celebrating their actual birthdays only 1 week apart. Which means we'll need to remember things like balloons, a special breakfast, them picking dinner, and how we're celebrating at school. While the parties are "bigger" and requrie more planning, we can't neglect the details of their special days.
*Last but not least...Don't forget about Valentine's Day!! While the birthday parties will pretty much take the cake, Valentine's Day is still 2 days after Layton's birthday and smack dab in between the 2 parties. Therefore school Valentines plus anything special we want to do here at home cannot be forgotten or overlooked.
Whew! I think I covered everything. And I plan to refer back to this list year after year if needed because party planning for my babies has just become my thing I get really into and run with. It's like part of my love language. I live in the details and I like making things special. We can't afford extravagance or going wild spending tons of money on parties so I just plan the details and do what I can within reason to make their parties fun, memorable, and special. Because they're worth it and I want to. =)
Planning parties is work. Lots of work. But, at the end of the day (or party) it's totally worth it and I really love doing it. Seeing my birthday boys having fun at their parties and hearing how much they enjoyed themselves once they're old enough to tell me is priceless. One of the best things ever. Even grown-ups having fun and enjoying the celebration is pretty special. So party plan I will continue.
Time to get back to work!