I have birthdays on the brain this month. My 40th birthday was last week, my sister’s birthday is this week, and my husband and middle son have birthdays next weekend. It’s a lot of parties to put together in the weeks following the holidays, and it could be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of celebrations in our immediate family this month, or just by the idea of throwing a party’a source of stress for some. But the one thing I’ve learned is that the secret to making all birthday parties manageable is to put your focus where your strengths lie and you’ll automatically feel at ease about your hosting duties.
What does this mean exactly? If you’re more interested in assembling handmade decorations than baking a birthday cake, then by all means don’t hesitate to let someone else supply the sweet treats for you. If you love to cook and bake but haven’t found the perfect vanilla cake recipe than don’t hesitate to use a store-bought cake mix. If you don’t enjoy throwing birthday parties and want to outsource the entire thing, by all means, please do. The main focus should always be on the birthday child, and not on what you weren’t able to accomplish for the party.
With a crawling, climbing ten-month-old underfoot I know that this year my time is more limited than in year’s past. I also know that my baby is happier during the day than in the evening, so instead of throwing the typical birthday dinner party with our extended family like I usually do, I’m having birthday lunches for my clan this year because I know that’s what I can manage well. The food is simpler to assemble, the guests don’t usually linger for as long, and quite frankly it’s all around easier for me to execute.
What’s your take? How do you make birthday parties more manageable for yourself? Do you enjoy throwing them and hosting them every year? Avoid them altogether? What are some of your party planning strengths?