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Location: Northern California

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Party Mama

After all of my years of throwing parties, I feel like I've met my greatest party challenge...and won! Today was Emily's 2nd birthday party and it was so much fun and went off without a hitch. I'm glad I had all those years of hosting my own birthday (kegger) parties under my belt so I knew what to expect. The only difference is that this time I didn't have a house and yard full of happy friends drunk on beer, but a house and yard full of Emily's friends drunk on energy and juice. "JUICE, JUICE, JUICE," is a two-year-old's mantra. The kids huddled around the ice chest filled with the wonderful colorful boxes and entertained themselves by sucking on ice chips and box after box of that sweet sweet stuff.

The key to hosting a successful kids' birthday party is to keep it short and simple:

  • Put a start and end time on the invite. I like a two hour party.
  • Serve the food 30 minutes after the start time. Don't bother with a complicated menu, hot dogs and chips are everybody's favorite.
  • Sing Happy Birthday and serve the cake no more than 90 minutes after the start time.

    By the time 120 minutes (2 hours) have passed, everybody's either eaten cake or smeared it somewhere, the kids obviously need to go home and sleep off their juice high, and your house is a mess. Congratulations, you've just hosted a successful kids' party! Hand out gift bags as the kids leave.

    We asked that people not bring gifts to Emily's party because she's still too young to fully understand the concept of gift-giving. I wonder if she'll be up to the challenge (and I do think it's a challenge for a young child to graciously receive gifts) next year? We'll see...