Party. Food. And Drink

We live in a relatively materialistic society. I’m not generalizing this…I mean our family now lives in a materialistic society. We came from rural. Simple. Homemade, handmade, kid-made, frugal, inexpensive, money saving rural.

And it was lovely.

But we are here now (and love it!) and while we maintain much of what we believe in, and we hold fast to satisfaction and gratitude rather than the incessant desire for more, bigger and better, we are always mindful of our cohort. This rings especially true and very loud in the birthday party department.

Many parties take place at our local and beautiful Aquatic, Sports and Fitness Centre. Others take place at local gymnastics centres and the like. And while celebrating our children – and their annual milestones – is very important, spending lots of moola is not. Nor does it necessarily dictate the amount of pleasure party guests will experience. One expensive party annually is not the end of the world. Two (soon to be three) expensive parties annually over the course of the next couple years may actually be the end of the world. I realize this is a very personal opinion and decision.

I digress.

It was daunting to think of having many six and seven year old boys in our house, if even for a couple hours. But the price tag of out-sourcing the event was more so. Therefore, a home party it was. A short, intense, activity filled two hours were planned and executed for approximately $35 (this includes, cake, supper/food, goodie bags, california kick-ball/baseball base plates, and screams of joy). Ask for a breakdown…I dare you.

Guests arrived (nine boys and two small girls – including ours) and were whisked to the table to make his or her own pizza. Immediately after pizza making, said children were hustled outside to our local green belt where the game of California Kick-Ball (followed by soccer and running in general) ensued. After approximately 45 minutes, small children were hustled back to (our) home base. Gifts were opened (another exercise in gratitude but wow, materialism) while pizzas baked. Pizzas were then eaten, followed by cake and then one more hustling of children to the back yard, a few more shrieks erupted from the yard and trampoline and then parents mercifully arrived.

It was short and sweet but most certainly full and long enough.

Food: pizzas. Simple and relatively healthy. Allowed each child to make his or her own ensured that everyone would like their supper and it killed time was a great activity. A plate of veggies adorned the centre of the table and was gobbled enjoyed though we do have oodles of carrots to munch on.

Drink: fizzy water with punch, fizzy water, or punch. Children in our family to not drink pop. Period. End of sentence. Regardless of the celebration it’s not necessary. A can of pop boasts 8 tsp of sugar. And, regardless of the buzz – the crash after is most certainly not worth it…never mind how small bodies adjust to this sudden jolt kick.

I was shocked and amazed at how excited all these boys were at the concept of fizzy water. Many most certainly asked for punch (a stretch for me but it was a party after all) with their fizzy water but there were a few asking for only fizzy water. Notice, none asked for punch alone. An added bonus: fizzy water significantly diluted the punch, therefore ensuring minimal sugar intake.

Creating healthy alternatives – even at parties – can be easy if you really put on your thinking cap.

The cake? It was full of sugar.

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6 Responses to Party. Food. And Drink

  1. Laurie Scott says:

    All our paries were home parties and to this day i treasure them. It is a different kind of challenge opening your home to all these kids, but the rewards of being part of this annual celebration with them lasts a lifetime. Our kids can still tell me in detail the specifics of those parties. Now a treasure for me. Glad to see you doing this. HOME… Isn’t that the centre of their life.
    Love you guys.

    • Ashleigh says:

      I can see your place being THE fun one! You guys are so awesome at everything ‘family’ and all things ‘quality’. I aspire to be as wonderful as you both!

  2. Jenn G. says:

    I’m planning a BIG party for Job’s 2nd Birthday (1st birthday home), and it’s an at home party that I’m having fun come up with plans. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have BIG parties for a 2 year old, but because it’s his first birthday home I want it to be special! I hope I can do things pretty inexpensively (sp?–is that even a word-BAWHAHAHA). We’ll see, I think he’ll enjoy being the center of attention than gifts. Hopefully it’s fun!
    BTW-what ‘Fizzy Water’ do you use? Sad to say, I love Pop, and I’d LOVE to also stop drinking pop, I think the Fizzy water would be a great place to start-since it’s more of the fizz I like than the pop itself.

    • Ashleigh says:

      Haha. Fizzy Water: no name club soda. ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you think I did it all for 35 bucks?! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I think a giant 2nd birthday is awesome. We used to have big ‘drop in’ parties when our boys were young (from their first to their third birthdays). It’s a great social gathering, perfect excuse for friends and family to hang out, and awesome way to celebrate your kiddo! We had a pretty solid one for Makeda’s first and we’d only just moved. I say Go For It!
      (My vice is Coke Zero…shhhhhhh.) ๐Ÿ™‚

      You’re an awesome Mum, Jenn!

  3. Candice says:

    Love this!! All my birthdays as a little girl were home parties and I remember them all. So much fun was had! Good on you for keeping up the tradition. It sounds like all of those boys had a really good time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ashleigh says:

      Thanks, Candice! I did get one very candid “this is AWESOME” comment from one of the party guests and that was a great encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

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