The Summer Birthday Blues 

My daughter just celebrated her birthday, and it was a mixed emotional event. You see, we used to live in the north where school begins later and ends later. Her birthday, which is June 3rd, would fall near the end of the school year – a hectic time of year, to be sure, but still a time when school was in session and everyone was in town to celebrate. This year school was over, friends were on vacation with their families, and her birthday was a bummer. I got my first personal glimpse of what lots of other kids go through every single year – the summer birthday blues.

Do you have a summer birthday in your life? Is your child all depressed because they want to celebrate but half their friends are away at overnight camp, family vacations, or just not around?

Here are three ideas that might help you make your child’s summer birthday a little brighter:

  1. Pull the party forward or push it out. Who said you have to celebrate on the actual birth date? If your child’s birthday falls anywhere near the beginning or end of the summer, just push it a few weeks or even a month. You would move it for other reasons (work, family availability, travel), why not for his or her friends? A celebration is a celebration, no matter when.
  2. Make it on the Half. I’ve suggested this for holiday birthdays too – consider having the big friend celebration on the half birthday. When you are a kid, a half birthday is just as special. Its unique, memorable, and a celebration is a celebration, after all.
  3. Take advantage of summer. The best part about summer birthdays are all of the options/activities you have with the season. This is the time of year of water parks and beaches, baseball, BBQ, leisurely summer nights, so take advantage. It is also more likely to be a smaller more intimate group – and you can do very cool things with a small group. Consider a small group of friends camping out in the back yard on a warm summer night. Imagine loading up the car for a picnic and water play at the beach. Picture going to a fun summer movie followed by a great burger place with an outdoor patio. You can’t do any of those activities in the winter with 30 kids from the class. It can be very freeing to not have to invite everyone and to not have to be inside – your winter birthday mamas are jealous! And of course, the celebration is what counts.

What have you done to make your summer birthday celebration special? How have you made it an advantage? Please share your ideas and comments below!

Have A Bashery’s Newest Theme Parties!

April 1, 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Have A Bashery, the fun and engaging provider of activity based theme parties, is adding a few new themes to their repertoire. We specialize in putting games and crafts around themes and bringing them to children, families, and institutions. Our themes come from what people request, so we know we’ve hit the nail on the head with these!

  • Dentist Party – Nothing says fun more than inflicting pain on the people you love! In this unique party we explore dental health with lectures, flossing demonstrations, and then move right into dentist games of scaling, extractions, and microair abrasion. Crafts of veneer painting and resin molding become a brilliant white goodie bag.
  • Potty Training Party – Perfect for 3 year olds who need the practice. If all goes well, there will be prizes. We are not above bribery.
  • Back CameraWar Party – Great party for large (aggressive) groups, ages 7 – 9! We start with an exhausting and slightly dangerous boot camp, and then conduct super fun drills with assorted hand weapons, cannons, and tanks. After battle planning, troops run a scavenger hunt to find a missing fugitive!
  • Dictionary Party – So much titillation for the gumptious birthday child!  Looking up provocative words is only the commencement of the regalement!
  • Watching the Paint Dry Party – The furthest thing from boring, this party allows for meditation and reflection. Games of observation using all the senses skills will be played. The Quietest party we have ever had!
  • Household Chores Party – Perfect for the Mom who needs a little help around the house! Kids will get to clean the garage, sort and fold laundry, and weed the garden. Your dream come true.

Opening April 1st, 2016! Call to schedule your foolish party today!

Birthdays at the Holidays – The challenge of sharing your special day

 My friend Nicole has her birthday on Thanksgiving. Why must she share  her birthday with a turkey? How can we make our kids’ birthdays special,  or even remembered, when the rest of the world enjoys a different special  moment. Jonathan has it even worse with a December 25th birthday. He  only gets one present a year while his big sister has two days of receiving  gifts. Jonathan and Nicole can’t even have a friend filled birthday party  because their friends have to travel or have family obligations during the  holidays. It’s not fair!

Not only is it hard on the birthday boy or girl, it’s hard on the family. As a  busy parent who knows the importance of celebrating my wonderful child  on his or her special day, I know it can be hard to focus and give the  attention to the planning needed during this crazy busy season. Nicole  claims she didn’t have an actual birthday party until she was 10!

Sure, when the kids are young, it might not be such a big deal to share a birthday when there is so much joy, family, and celebration. They might actually get multiple parties! My Grandfather who shared his birthday with the 4th of July had us all convinced the fireworks were just for him. The notoriety of being a New Year Baby or having a spooky Halloween birthday can actually be fun…. but only for a while.

Here are three things you can do for those people you love, big and small, who share birthdays with major holidays.

  1. Make sure to create a special birthday tradition that is just for them. Make chocolate chip happy face pancakes on the morning of her birthday, special even when there is Christmas dinner that night. How about a special shopping trip for a birthday gift, or a visit to the aquarium. In my family every person gets to pick their dinner restaurant on the night (or close to the night) of their birthday, even when it’s holiday vacation and we are traveling out of town.
  2. Keep the birthday distinct and allow time and space for other themes. Halloween themed birthday parties every year will get stale. Make room for Super Heroes, and Harry Potter, Cooking, and American Doll themed parties.
  3.  Move the party to a new date to avoid direct conflicts and vacations so that friends can attend and celebrate. Missing friends is the biggest hardship I hear from Holiday Birthday kids. The party doesn’t have to be on the actual birthday, so move it for maximum celebration! Mom and Dad birthday planners will appreciate this too.

Let me know how you handle the holiday birthdays in your life. What are your frustrations and solutions? Reply here or on Facebook!

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween

Halloween is a great reason to celebrate, and a wonderful spirited “kickoff celebration” to the entire American holiday season.  Halloween is so much fun with costumes, candy, and parties… I have lots of friends, clients, and acquaintances that can’t get enough of this crazy spooky festival!

How about you? Are you a decorator and put lights, cobwebs, blow-ups, and grave stones all over your yard? Maybe you just love to carve or decorate a pumpkin or two. Do you spend the year concocting scary treats and candy goodies to bring to school or pass out to neighborhood kids? Are you the crafty parent who loves creating amazing costumes from fabric and clothes hangers or maybe you scour the web with your kids, or just take them to Party City? How much fun is this holiday!

There are lots of ways to celebrate, with kids and with adult friends. My tradition has been to help my kids create their own costume ideas (trips to several stores and makeup support), carve a few Jack-o-lanterns to illuminate, and cook up a storm. My kids love my homemade green mac-and-cheese, and my adult friends have always loved my stew baked in a pumpkin and my famous hot mulled wine. We lived on one of these Halloween crazy streets for years in Chicago, and after the 14 huge bags of candy was gone, adults and kids would come inside for candy trading and feasting. My kids are bigger now, and we live on a quieter street, but we are still outside for the block party with a cauldron of green mac-and-cheese and my coffee taurine filled with the hot mulled wine… traditions I can’t resist!

What are your traditions? What’s fun for you? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!

Keep the celebrations coming, and be sure to get a running start and a big leap for this “gateway” holiday for the season!

RSVP – Why Bother?

There is some debate in the party community about how to deal with the RSVP. Some invitations give phone numbers, emails, dates to respond by, others ask for regrets only, or don’t specify at all. What is the proper etiquette?
The party host should specify the information they need to run a successful party. The invitee should reply as asked. It’s that simple.
if you are the person hosting the party, ask for exactly what you need. If you need an exact number 5 days in advance, then ask. Specify how to best contact you, and give a reply date. Do follow up if you don’t hear. Do not follow up/call/badger for more information or earlier information than you requested. A tie dye or a cooking party, for which materials are being ordered or created for exact numbers, require knowledge of who is coming. A magician party or a rental blow-up play house does not need an exact count. Be realistic, ask because you need the information. The reason I suggest a follow up call? Not only might you require the information, but sometimes that call can catch a lost or miss-mailed invitation.
If you are the recipient of an invitation with an RSVP, PLEASE RESPOND as requested. Do not apply your own philosophy to the situation. I had a Mom once tell me that she never responds as a policy, she believes in regrets only. Well, good for her, but its not what the host wanted or needed. It is not too much to ask to be considerate!
Finally, always include in your response if you will be late or need to leave early… again, it’s just polite!
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