Made with Love, Not the Baby's College Fund
All birthdays deserve to be celebrated. A lot of emphasis is placed on the first birthday, yet it seems unnecessary to expend the time and money Pinterest might guilt you into. When planning the celebration keep in mind the purpose: a fun day for the birthday baby AND to recognizing how much the parents have grown in one year too. While it's tempting to dip into the baby's college fund to throw a party they will never forget (haha), there are a few party tricks that can save a small fortune & time without sacrificing the important aspects.
By now the 1 year old probably has a favorite interest or object. This is a good starting place for a theme. Remember, this needs to be a "fun day for the birthday baby". In our case, Noam loved ducks so Rubber Duckies was the theme of his party - his first word was "QUACK QUACK"!! Using a bright color(s) as a theme is also great for children.
Who wants a closet full of cheap decorations after a party, and who has the time to make a bunch of expensive, time consuming ones? The Answer: Balloons! Children adore them, they fill up the space making even the drabbest room cheerful and they only cost about $1 a piece once filled with helium. Balloons also do double duty as a take home present for all the guests.
Other decorative items worth your while: Flowers, a Table Cloth, and a beautiful center piece Birthday Cake
3. SMALL GUEST LIST
Keeping the baby in mind - as tempting as it is to invite a crowd - consider a few tiny friends with whom the baby likes to play and invite those families. This way it's truly a party for the baby to have some fun.
Sticking to a theme for the menu will help to not get carried away. Themes could include Cooking style like BBQ or Regional fair like Mexican or Meal Based like brunch. Again, in trying to keep things manageable, serve finger foods that kids love and adults find novel.
With a party at 1 in the afternoon and a yellow theme, Brunch style food was appropriate. We served Deviled Eggs, Bites of Grilled Sausage, Tator Tots, Terra Vegetable Chips and Scones with Lemon Curd. Oh, and PARTY PUNCH is a must. We needed something Yellow which is why I made a French 75 punch. This was a serious hit. I floated mini rubber duckies in the punch for a bit of humor. *The rubber duckies were also take home presents for the guests. Other beverages included Lemon Water, Orange Juice and Hot Black Tea.
5. A SENTIMENTAL TOUCH
As this is a great milestone and everyone in attendance is there to celebrate it, this is a perfect opportunity to share pictures or videos of the last year. Displaying pictures in frames, on a banner or even rotating digital frame are all good options. We made a video compilation of photos we took of him every week. The 10 minute video was premiered at his birthday with our friend's and family around.
To add to this video collection, we bought him a Junior Chesty for his birthday so that he could wear our GoPro Camera and begin to make his own videos. Wearing this, he recorded much of his own birthday party. I think in years to come, when the memories of his 1st birthday are a little fuzzy, he can watch this GoPro video and see exactly what he did from his perspective.