Thursday, August 30, 2012

This may be my most brilliant idea EVER!

 I love it when a solution to one problem effectively knocks out another problem.  It makes me feel all efficient.

Problem the First:  Halloween.  I love Halloween.  It isn't so much the scary, creepy aspects. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Gothic novel or Vincent Price film, but what I love about Halloween is that it is so quintessentially Autumn.  Pumpkins, leaves, the smell of Autumn night air, treats.... love it ... LOVE IT.  I like taking the kids trick-or-treating, but like giving out the candy even more.  It is my favorite thing to do.  The problem is that no one does trick-or-treating in our area. Folks go to the mall or to the local square in hordes:  they line up, grab candy, and leave.  Lame.  Even more lame.... the parents who drive their kids from house to house -- like even houses next door to one another -- so the kids can loot for candy.  No fun... no admiring costumes or jumping out of bushes.  Just grab the candy and run.  Sigh.  I want an old-school Halloween.

Problem the Second:  Hope has the unfortunate luck of having a February birthday.  February sucks. If there is any month out of the year that we will get sick it is February.  It is also a shorter month, which means that those of use paid weekly are screwed (ack! Rent is due... I feel like I just paid the rent!).  Hope has been bummed because I'm having a c-section a week before her birthday and now her plans for a sleepover are ruined.  I told Hope that instead of a sleepover I would get Sam to take her and three of her friends to the mall for pizza, a movie, and giggly shopping.  I bet you can guess how excited Sam is for that!

I was thinking about what to do for Atticus's birthday party (his birthday is October 27th) and I had decided to do a Halloween theme when I was hit by brilliance:  ONE GIANT HALLOWEEN PARTY BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT FOR THE KIDS. 

I've thought about doing one big party a year instead of two -- and eventually three -- kid parties a year.  It would save money and time.  I also want to get away from birthdays equaling getting loads of gifts.  I like the celebratory fun of a party, but with out all the mass consumerism. Gifts are cool, but the kids get sooooo much.  Just think -- Mom and Dad, grandparents, other relatives, and then each party guest.  They end up with more stuff then at Christmas and then mama has to figure out where to put it all. Instead, I am going to do one big party with gifts optional (grandparents' will most likely still spoil the kids) and then on each child's birthday give them their one gift and make them a favorite meal. 

I tentatively approached the subject with Hope, fully expecting her to declare it "lame."  She loved the idea! 

My brain is filled to bursting with ideas and here are the basic ideas we've come up with:

The Basics:  The main party for everyone will be from 4pm to 7pm which won't interfere with nap time.  After the little kids leave Hope can have her friends stay for sleepover festivities. 

I like this.... sans balloons.  The balloons look like sperm... ick.

Activities:  All the kids in costumes!  A Great Pumpkin hunt (like an Easter Egg hunt, but not).  Making monster puppets. Hope's friends will have their Great Pumpkin hunt after the little ones leave, with flashlights, and some scariness... Mwhahahaahaa.... They will probably also watch Phantom of the Opera and Snow White and the Huntsman.  Oh yes.... and cookie decorating. 

Decorations:  Carved pumpkins.  String lights.  Paper Jack-o-lanterns in the window.  "Monster eyes" in the yard.  Bat bunting....Tables, chairs, quilts spread out....  Sam insists there must be a pinata. 

Food:  Candy will be hidden for the Pumpkin hunt, but there will be dinner food as well. FYI -- I don't do food that looks like body parts.... no ma'am.  For dinner: clementines with jack-o-lantern faces, apple slices, a veggie tray, "mummies"(pigs in a blanket), bread, crock pot chili (one vegetarian, one meat).  For beverages: juice or milk boxes for the kids.  Water, soda, or crock pot apple cider or pumpkin spice lattes for the adults. The cake will be various Halloween themed cupcakes. 

This is going to be so much fun!


Amanda said...

Ooh, I love this idea! My oldest has a birthday in October too. :D My wheels are turning!

One thing we've done over the last few years with birthdays is we've stopped giving physical presents so much, and instead give what we call gifts of time. We promise the kids we'll spend time alone just with them, without their brothers, to go do little things like have ice cream, or go mini-golfing, or have a day where we cook together, etc. The grandparents have gotten into this too, and now, the kids prefer time gifts to regular gifts. We also let them choose a theme for their party, and design the whole party around it. It's very home-made, very low-budget, like one year Ambrose had a game party, and Jason used duct tape to turn the living room into a giant boardgame that the guests played during the party. This year, now that Morrigan is in 6th grade and getting older, he wants to have a tapas party where he cooks a whole bunch of little dishes ahead of time to serve to guests at his party - a variation of the same type of thing, but more grown up. :D

Amanda said...

I love the idea of "gifts of time." What a great party idea for Morrigan!

Sara C said...

Just found your blog through BBAW (can't remember which lovely soul lead me here), and I love the site. Also, have to second this great idea...but only because I had it first. :) With both kids born in Dec (one actually on Christmas Day), we decided a few years ago to do a gigantic Halloween bash in lieu of birthday parties. It is a tremendous success. Best of luck with your first go round! I predict it will become a great tradition.