Birthday parties are an opportunity to remind someone how special they are and to celebrate the day they came into the world. Birthdays celebrated at home can be highly personalized to emphasize the celebrant's favorite foods, colors and interests.
The birthday celebrant's favorite color can influence your choice of decorations and food. Refer to the color when selecting crepe paper, balloons, paper napkins, plastic silverware and even the birthday cake. Ask guests to choose the color when wrapping their gift. Use the color when sending out invitations to help set the tone early.
Plan birthday party food with the celebrant's favorite foods in mind. Plan a main course of family favorites, or prepare the birthday person's favorite meal. If guests are invited, ask everyone to bring a small dish to share that complements the main course. If you have enough room, plan to have everyone pitch in and help prepare the birthday meal together. When the meal is ready and everyone is seated to eat, give everyone a drink and ask them to go around the table giving a short toast to the birthday person.
Plan to capture special memories for the birthday person by asking each guest to bring a 4-inch by 6-inch index card with their name and a memory or loving thought about the birthday person. Have a paper punch and metal ring handy so that the cards can be assembled and presented as a gift. Video tape the party and burn the video to a DVD for the birthday person to enjoy later. Video special parts of the party on a cell phone and post the video clips to social networking sites -- with the celebrant's permission, of course.
Instead of Cake
Consider baking something besides cake for the birthday celebration. If the birthday person loves chocolate chip cookies, bake a super-sized chocolate chip cookie on a pizza pan. If cupcakes are a favorite, bake up a couple of batches of jumbo cupcakes and lather them with colorful, thick and fluffy frosting. Other sweet birthday treat ideas include decadent fudge, gourmet brownies with chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream, or layered pudding parfaits in tall dessert glasses with special cookies such as pirouettes.
It's not a party without balloons. Use balloons to decorate the birthday person's chair at the table, or to make an arch. Suspend a net full of balloons over the door to drop as the birthday person enters and everyone yells "Surprise!" Get extra large clear balloons and fill them with candy and party favors to give guests when they leave. Make everyone sit carefully at the same time on a balloon and give a prize to the one who does not pop their balloon.
Use water as a theme and to promote fun at a home birthday party. Plan a pool party coupled with a backyard cookout. Have water guns and balloons at the read for light-hearted fun. An inflatable slide paired with a hose is an activity adults and children enjoy.
- "Birthday Party on a Budget: Low-cost Ideas for Birthday Parties That Will Lead to an Unforgettable Birthday Celebration"; KMS Publishing.com; 2010
- "Memorable Milestone Birthdays: Over 50 Theme Parties to Help You Celebrate"; Robin Kring; 2001
- "11 Birthdays"; Mass Market Paperback; Wendy Mass; 2010
- "The Cheapskate's Guide to Entertaining: How to Throw Fabulous Parties on a Modest Budget"; Lori Perkins; 2000
- Photo Credit birthday image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com
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