Saturday, December 6, 2014


How to Host a Birthday Party for 12 Teenage Girls Without Losing Your Mind.

If you know the answer, send me a note. In the mean time, I tried to keep it as simple as possible, but still, my evening ended with my wishing I could just crawl into bed at 7:30 p.m. But instead, of course, I stayed up past midnight re-watching season four of Downton Abbey with my No. 1. We made it halfway through the season finale before we started snoring. Getting up this morning was rough. Ugh.

Birthday Table in Green.
Always a challenge to decorate for a birthday in the middle of Advent/Christmas.
I used the ceramic piece No. 2 made over the summer as the centerpiece.

Since it looked a bit like a tree stump, I was inspired to add one of my gnomes and
a trail of candy making a path over the tabletop.
The party was at home, in the afternoon, only one girl is sleeping over, no fancy activity, just two simple holiday crafts and a new dvd (The Giver) for back up. Can twelve teenage girls really get bored with all the talking and eating they do?

Experience says, no. They didn't need the video. They really didn't need the craft activities. They talked and laughed and talked and talked and took photos of each other for so long I wondered if they were ever going to get hungry. But they were and they ate a lot and enjoyed the snow globe craft also.

Making mason jar snow globes mainly from items I had on hand.
Like all those mason jars I bought, intended for canning that just never happened. Ahem.
Batman in a snowstorm!
I asked the girls to bring their own plastic figurines.
I took the menu plan from this inspiring post on My Little Norway. So, hot dogs with potato chips.

Yes, I needed inspiration to come up with that idea. Reading that blog post actually relieved my anxious mind. I decided to stick to obvious, simple foods rather than try and impress myself and the girls with something fancy. Simple and basic is what I need these days. Hot dogs, buns, chips, Coca-Cola, some chocolates, cookies from a tin, store-bought red velvet mini cupcakes, put on a tiered stand with strawberries, and frozen mini eclairs for a fancy dessert instead of birthday cake.

Ketchup and mustard in little jars on a tray is just fancier than putting plastic bottles on the table.

Mini cupcakes and strawberries for dessert.
What were they most excited about? The strawberries!

Now to go do a second round of cleaning up glitter from my floor.

Let it go and go glitter.
My son made the one on the bottom left. Isn't it cute?
I cut up some of last year's Christmas cards for the kids to use.

Breakfast on a tray for the sleepy girls that stayed up late talking.
St. Nicholas Day

Last night, the kids put out their shoes with wish lists or letters inside and wake up on 12/6 to find them replaced with treats to eat and a small gift. I found these printable letter forms on Mr. Printables that are really simple and cute. A lot of other cool free stuff on the site, like the modern advent calendar made of tiny houses.

This year I kept it simple for Nicholas gifts: a chocolate orange, a peppermint stick, a chocolate biscuit, a new hairbrush and a pair of winter/xmas socks for the girls and one of those water pinball games for my son.
Boots outside her bedroom door.
In the hallway is nicer than leaving them on the front porch, where
there might be slugs or other unwelcome wet weather effects.

He loved the water game and all his candy, plus the hairbrush.

But didn't care for the orange-flavored chocolate after all.
Win for Mom!
The nice thing about my kids knowing that it is me who plays Santa is that they come thank me for the gifts. My younger two, ages 8 and 11, were really at the age where they wanted the truth acknowledged and couldn't live with the sort of teasing joking about Santa seeing what they are doing, that kind of thing. They are happier now that they know what they perceived to be the truth is the truth after all. For my son, I think this is part of his literal-mindedness from autism.

I tell them that I gave the gifts in honor of St. Nicholas and read them his stories, but yes, I did play St. Nick. And they can do it too...which should kind of be the point of the whole thing, right? To inspire our children to give freely and lovingly to others?

Making a wish...

...for a happy fifteenth year

No comments:

Post a Comment