My younger boy turned 8 and we celebrated his birthday over the weekend. What was initially planned to be a simple gathering eventually became a Star Wars Themed party. The party decoration was put together in less than 12 hours!
I broke my own record!
The birthday boy who initially agreed to a simple celebration secretly read my whatsapp messages and found out that I was planning to get a Star Wars toy for him.
At 9.30pm the night before the party, he told me that a Star Wars party would be great. I told him it was too late because all shops were closed and shooed him to bed.
Yet, like all parents who couldn’t bear to disappoint their kids, I thought I should at least try. I listed out the things I needed to have. It was almost 11 pm and the party was next day lunch.
Skipping the customized invites minused off one huge item from my list. We wouldn’t need any fanciful party food with creative labels because the Dad already had his menu all planned out. In fact, his pot roast was already cooking in the oven!
I found out that I ran out of colourful cardstock paper and had to use normal A4 printer paper for whatever decoration I needed to print. Thankfully it was Star Wars and anything black and white seemed appropriate.
I printed out some black and white Storm Troopers to hang around the house and some alphabets to decorate the walls. The boys had recently made a wooden plane and I thought it would serve as some sort of a Star Wars flying craft. No?
After an hour or 2 of working at it, I could finally see the Star Wars Theme slowly coming together. It was almost 2 am.
The next morning, the birthday boy came storming into our room. He was so excited and thrilled to see the decoration that had been put up overnight. It was like waking up from a dream. The expression on his face was simply priceless!
We had a couple of hours more before the party started and I decided to work on a table centre piece.
I dug out some of the kids’ Star Wars soft toys, some Legos (mostly with missing body parts!) and an old light saber. Stuck a few more alphabets to the wall and brought out the Oreo cheesecake that the birthday boy had requested. While I was busy, the birthday boy had cut and glued some cardboard pieces and chopsticks together. He had built an Imperial AT-AT Walker which looked perfect on his birthday cake!
It was a simple set up where the Dad and the brother handled the food while I did the dressing up of the house. The birthday boy clearly had fun and couldn’t stop thanking us for the surprise.
I realised that if given more time, I would have the tendency of going overboard with the details. From designing the invites, decorating the place, brainstorming ideas for games to food list and cake design. It can get overwhelming when you do not know when to stop.
So I’ve learned that whether you start planning early or late does very little in reducing the amount of stress of planning for a birthday party if you do not have a clear scope.
The key to a relatively stress free birthday party is to keep it simple and don’t be greedy! It might just turn out to be a good way for the family to get creative and have fun together!