Last weekend we celebrated Annalyn’s fifth birthday with family. She had settled on a Tinkerbell theme months ago, and I’d been collecting and pinning ideas ever since.
My Tinkerbell Party board on Pinterest included dozens of adorable, classy and clever ideas for a pixie party. And I didn’t use a single one of them.
Despite my love of homemade, crafty parties with a tight theme, coordinated decor and an elaborate menu, I just wasn’t feeling it this year. It’s been a rough year, we’ve been crazy busy lately, and honestly, Annalyn is completely happy with store-bought everything (as long as it has a fairy on it).
So even though it pained me to plan a less-than-fabulous party, it also took a huge burden off my shoulders. It is WAY easier to buy Disney invitations at the store, along with matching plates, cups and napkins. And you should have seen the smile on my kiddo’s face when I let her pick out the tackiest Tinkerbell cake the grocery store could make.
I guess it’s not a candidate for Cake Wrecks, but still. The plastic fairy pieces? They snap together to form a tacky necklace. A necklace!
The most ambitious I got was when I tied ribbon around a couple Mason jars and filled them with M&Ms and peanuts. Even the balloons were a lazy (or smart!) mom’s answer to decorations. I convinced my brother and husband to blow up as many pink and purple balloons as their lungs could handle . . . and then we just tossed them on the living room floor.
I’m telling you – this party was low-key!
But you know what else it was? FABULOUS. No, not by my grown-up standards. But in the eye of the guest of honor? It was the best Tinkerbell party a girl could ask for.
I love pouring my heart and to-do lists into planning a good party. (Exhibit A: Veggie Tales. Exhibit B: Mickey Mouse. Exhibit C: Party Planning E-book.) But I love not losing my mind even more. So the fact that my kiddo was thrilled with her low-key party is my idea of giving up on perfect in the perfect way!
What’s your idea of a perfect party?
This post is part of 31 Days of Giving Up on Perfect. All month long, I’ll be writing about my fight against perfectionism and my quest to get on with life, already. For more 31 Days, visit The Nester.
Honestly, that is my kind of party! I keep things low-key for the boys, only putting my energy into an awesome (or NOT) homemade cake of their choosing. We put up a few streamers & balloons, toss more balloons on the floor, make a “Happy birthday __________” sign, fill a few bowls with some snacks, and that’s about it.
I just don’t see the necessity of spending a huge amount of time or money on a birthday party. We’re pretty broke, and the boys are happy with anything! We didn’t have fancy birthday parties when I was growing up, but I have the best memories of my parties, when the most excitement was who won the “who can throw the most wooden clothespins in the basket?” game.
So I say, good for you!! The party was fabulous in Annalyn’s eyes, and that’s all that matters. :)
This year the issue was time. However, every year the issue is money. I don’t think any kind of fabulous party should require hundreds of dollars! (Not that I’m not tempted…because I AM.) And yes, kids are so happy with simple things like clothespin games – we should take notes and learn from them!!
That’s so great! I’m so proud of you for giving up on your perfect for this party, because it sounds like it was totally perfect for her!! I love it and I’m glad you were able to relax and not get super stressed about it! :) It sounds good to me – I often do the same! God is teaching us to relax and let go of the things that just aren’t that important (like a perfect party in your mind) to show us that HE and his Kingdom are way more important. The little things like this that you do for your daughter that leave an impact and let her know how deeply she’s loved will last a lot longer than the perfect cake, favors, or balloons. God’s love for her will last forever and your love for her as a mother will be what she remembers in 30 years. Not what her cake looked like (unless you show her the pictures, but you know, you don’t have to do that, lol…. ;)).
So true, all of it. Although I will admit that I did find myself a little stressed (and taking it out on my husband) right before the party started. But really, if that’s the only anxious outburst I suffered, it’s many steps above my usual crazy. (Yeah, yeah, sometimes I might lose my mind over event planning, despite writing a book…*sigh*)
PS I love that picture of her!!! :)
Looks PERFECT! I think when we go overboard with big productions, we are trying to impress the other moms … not our children! They are so easily content. Way to go!
That’s sometimes true about trying to impress moms. I’ll be honest – my motivation is 75% my own delight in party details and 25% impressing other people. ;) And for better or worse, I’ve passed along that 75% to my daughter who also loves planning parties. Thankfully she was completely content with this year’s low-key event! (In general I try to set the bar low so she’s thankful and happy with most everything. :) )
The tacky cake remarks are cracking me up this morning! She’s at that age where tacky means awesome!
Oh my goodness, isn’t that the truth? The more garish colors and sparkly glitter, the better!
Now this is where I’m definitely Type B. I wouldn’t even pin the ideas in the first place or think about doing them. For better or worse (sometimes I wish I WERE more Type A — often, actually!). That can be a problem though… because some of my friends are planner types, they’re the ones who plan parties for me, but they’re the ones who also WANT the thought-out parties for themselves (e.g. someone to throw them a surprise party), but me being the laid-back one about this type of thing, I rarely do anything like that. I wait until the last minute, and, well, you can’t do as much then. So anyway, it just figures. :)
I think it’s okay. Your real friends know this about you and love you anyway, right? Besides, friends with differences complement each other, I think!
Mary, the best thing about this party is not only that she loved it, but that you aren’t feeling guilty about it! So often we compare ourselves to others (even when we know better we just can’t help it). Bottom line, you may have stressed before the event, but you went with the flow and that is what made your little girl so happy! Now, if only we can all remember this every day…
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