Monday, May 6, 2013

Party Unplanning

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Big Family.

Lots of birthdays.

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Back in the day, the day of when there were just a couple of OctaProgeny, I used to do birthdays up big. Chuck E Cheese kind of big. McDonalds play land kind of big. Fully themed-out Pocahontas Party in full costumes kind of big.

And then I got tired.

And 'kind of big' got 'kind of expensive' when multiplied by eight.

I decluttered our party life. Simplified, simplified, simplified. Probably a bit too much. We went from party planning for 32 of the birthday kid's closest friends to family parties that involved making a favorite dinner and opening a couple of presents. It worked pretty well except for the photographic evidence that the younger kids found of their older siblings' birthday Pocahontas Party pasts....

...and the fact that many of their buddies were having big blow-out parties.

I think we've landed somewhere in the middle now that is working for us. The kids can have a couple of buddies over. There is some pizza, some juice boxes, some cake. Most importantly for my crew is the piñata portion of the party.

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I hope by keeping things simple that the kids can really focus on their friends.

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These impromptu parties aren't Pinterest-worthy. At all.



For the twins' party, it came down to some last minute texts to sweet friends, a fast Sam's run for pizza and cake and a gorgeous spring evening...



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These gatherings have no stress. There's no 'performance', no heavy list of 'fun' to accomplish. Right now, in this season, it's doable. It's fun. I still have to bat my Mommy Guilt back...it wants to flare into flame when I think on the older kids' parties at the same ages. But that was then. And this is now. And now has a lot more moving parts to it.

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These gatherings are a reflection of our life today, just as those more complex parties from yesteryear are a great time capsule of what family life was back then. And at the end of the day, as long as the ingredients of celebration, gratitude, laughter and friends is part of the recipe, it matters not the theme, the cost, the invitation list, the presents.

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What always resounds is the joy. And that is more than enough.






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