I think the more kids you have, the better you get at organising kids' birthday parties! Gabe's birthday falls in early July, while Sam's is in early September. We will be gone on holiday during Sam's birthday so being the diplomatic person that I am, I decided to do a combined birthday party in August!
We booked a farm in the city for their birthday celebrations! It was the BEST decision either! We only had to pay 60€ to rent the entire premise and we had SO much space, it was heavenly! In total we had about 40 people including kids. But the place was huge! We never felt a space constraint. The weather was great too so the kids could run around outside!
This year, I decided to do the unthinkable. I actually told my guests NOT to buy any presents. I totally bucked the trend of children's birthday party = presents galore.
Honest to boot, our apartment is not huge. We have 3 kids and 3 bedrooms. Toys are matter. Matter is anything that has volume and takes up space. As much as I know how kids love to have new toys, the marginal utility of toys is very low!!! They would play with a new toy and be totally excited about it for a few days or weeks. Thereafter, I'm stuck with even more toys and no space to store them!
That's why we hardly buy any toys! I hardly had new toys growing up. But that's not the reason. I truly believe children should engage in imaginary play. Outdoor play. Make believe. They don't need more toys.
This is an issue close to my heart. I've been toying with this no-presents idea for the longest time. For the past 6 years, whenever we had a kid's birthday party, it was always such a headache telling others what to buy for the kids. Truth is, we always buy things that we need for our kids! We don't wait until their birthdays to get them something. And we have 3 boys! That means that they play with the same toys, wear similar clothes and I simply don't need anything for them.
What we need is, money. Money is liquid. We can save the money. Or use the money for sport courses, or Sam's private school come September, or go on day trips with the kids or holidays. All these are experiences that we would want to go for with the kids and it means so much more to us! I asked the kids if they would like to have toys, they said "yes!" And I asked, do you want to go for theme parks and go on rides, Sam said, "Yes!" So I asked if its ok that he doesn't get new toys but we go for more excursions instead and he agreed wholeheartedly!
It was such a BREATHER! We collected quite a fair bit of money for them and we're going to use it to get Sam a new bicycle / roller blades and put the money aside in a bank account! So so so thankful for my friends who understood and agreed!
Back to the party, I decided to outsource our birthday cake to a lovely lady! She did the entire Batman cake for just 70€! I marinated boneless chicken thighs in a satay marinade and it was sooo yummy! I asked some friends to do some side dishes of salad for the buffet table. We had an overdose of chicken satay steak and a bit too little sides, but it was perfectly fine!
All in all, I must say that I loved the idea of a combined birthday party. My goal for a party is not to get all the presents in the world but for the kids to have a lovely day with their friends and family. And that was certainly accomplished on this day!
I brought a ball but we didn't even need to do any kids' games. There was more than plenty of things for the kids to keep busy with!
I'm so blessed & thankful to be a Mom. Children are a blessing and GIFT from the Lord. That's my mantra especially on days when they don't stop bickering at each other. But mostly they are just wonderful playmates for each other and they do love each other a LOT. Sam slept on the bedroom floor today because he was in one of his "teenage" mood. When we went in a few minutes later, we found Gabriel lying on the floor next to Sam ON THE FLOOR! #heartmelt
I will not stop hugging, kissing and loving on my children everyday. I'll enjoy the pitter patter of Liam's little feet because one day I know he won't thud around so loudly anymore. I want to stop and notice the kids' expressions and study their behaviour, understand their emotions and thoughts and with God's help, help them to discover their God-given talents, passion and calling for their lives. But most importantly, I want to enjoy the moments of being a Mom. I've never regretted being a SAHM. Never have. Never will.
That said, I loooove having a home-based business with ItWorks now. I remember my days pre-ItWorks, my most interesting part of the day would be retail therapy. I'd spend hours reading Mummy blogs, searching online for kids fashion and finding out what's the coolest kids' birthday presents.
These days, I'm investing so much time in self-development. I've taught myself so much about photo editing using apps-- the birthday invitation was made by yours truly using an App! I'm learning so much about people, human nature and myself. Being a WAHM is an entirely new dimension that I'm exploring! And best of all, I'm earning an income again! To give you an idea, in all my 11 years as a blogger, I've never earned more than a 3-figure income in total. I've been at ItWorks for 7 months and I've earned a 4-figure income in total already! #truth
I'll write more about my new life now as a WAHM soon! Here's an explosion of photos of the birthday party! Enjoy!
|It says, "Let us celebrate Samuel's & Gabriel's birthday together!"|
|Do I hear you say "WOW!??"|
|So beautiful, I didn't want to cut it! It's chocolate on the bottom and vanilla on top|
|Our Salad bar|
|Our ex-cell leaders who popped by the party!|
|Orry looking great with 2 girls!|
|Take home presents, chocolate and more sweets!|
|Our youngest guest of day! So glad you could come, M!|
Where we got our birthday cake: Message the lady on her Facebook page at "Home Ties"
Where we had the birthday party: Etzel Farm