Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kid's Birthday Parties

I am starting to stress. Once again, Petra's birthday is creeping up on me. I have no plan, no theme, so date or time set. All I know is she wants a picture of Scout and her on the cake. Easy- right? I have no idea why we make such an elaborate stink over our kid's birthday parties. Yes I do. We love those critters to death and want them to experience the joy of having one special day that they are celebrated, gifts are showered upon them and family & friends surround them. Sounds perfect to me.

Looking back at how my childhood birthdays were celebrated reminds me that simple is sometimes better. All the fuss and details often go unnoticed by kids at such a young age. I remember celebrating at home with a few girlfriends from school. My two sisters, of course completed the limited guest list.

 As you can see in the photo above, seated next to my sister Theresa, I must have been turning 4. (That's me in the white shirt and killer pixie cut). I was all smiles with my Raggedy Ann table cloth and forget the cake- I wanted doughnuts! What? Chocolate frosted doughnuts. I was thrilled. The other guests included a few neighborhood kids. Notice the plain white plates and plain white paper cups. No fuss. Happy girl. 
I remember how thrilled I was to be able to throw my birthday party at the local McDonalds. I know for my parents, money was tight, so I appreciated this special treat. I invited my BFF Jen Haas from my class. I was turning 7 and my big gift was to get my ears pierced. I was becoming a real woman. I have to note the trending turtlenecks and stylish brown cardboard party hats. I think this was before the Happy Meal was invented, so I recall being served an individual cheeseburger & fries. No box, no fuss. Fountain soda and cake with Ronald on it rounded out the menu. 'Nough said. Happy girl. 

As I got older, the event was still humble and simple. The cake made from scratch. (Thank you very much Betty Crocker). I believe this was a slumber party, so in order to avoid an all night rager, my guests were limited to 3. Throw in my rowdy sister Michelle, seen here splayed across the table in her Strawberry Shortcake PJs, and my pretending-to-be-uninterested older sister, Theresa, and we had the perfect bunch of girls. Pizza eaten, cake devoured. I think we even broke in our new VCR that night and rented The Breakfast Club. Perfect party. Happy girl. 

Each day this week I will posting a different kid's birthday party thrown by one of my dear friends. These parties will highlight the variety of ideas out there: some home-made and some at established venues with the common goal of making the birthday child feel like a rock star. 

Stay tuned...


  1. Its so fun to see you and Petra so close in age! Love the pictures.

    1. Thanks, Josh! I know she and I are pretty much the same age here. Crazy. xo

  2. Just doing a test and trying to leave a comment. I hear it's near impossible. Blogger- WTF?

  3. This comment was actually written by my step mother, Lois. She shared some memories of her childhood birthdays: "Dear Cara, I so enjoy your posts! I thought I'd chime in here about my memories of our birthday parties or lack there of. Much like your childhood mine were similar. Our birthdays were always a special day for the birthday girl or boy. We didn't have parties but always had a cake & gifts. My grandparents lived around the corner from us so they were close just like yours. They were always part of any celebration. As we got older my mom always made our favorite dinner...no special party plates or napkins...LOL...but cake and candles for sure....I remember my 13th birthday...my Godmother took me to NYC to see my first play..West Side Story.......
    So...bottom line...don't stress about Petra's party. It will be special no matter what. When the tide shifted and kids parties became so outrageous..I don't know..
    Keep it simple...I'm sure she'll love whatever you do. My memories of my birthdays are very special...surrounded by family who loved me no fancy themes, paper plates or napkins! So don't stress! Love you...xoxox Lois"