Get Ahead Of Yourself / Planning A Birthday Party

Leading a family life simply done does not mean I have nothing to do.

I’m busy, as most Mum’s are.

But I’m busy doing things I enjoy. By downsizing my commitments and simplifying my life, I fill my time with my priorities.

Birthdays are a priority at Chez Wright. We love birthdays.

Birthdays are busy times. The preparation, for a birthday, can be time-consuming.

I want to enjoy the lead up. I want the family member, whose birthday it is, to enjoy the build up to the big day. The preparation becomes part of the birthday itself. By allowing extra time to get things done, it removes the stress of trying to beat the clock from the equation. It makes it fun.

This is a strategy that is employed at Christmas also.

Birthday season at Chez Wright has begun. The next birthday is for a special 9-year-old.

Wright family birthday’s can last for days. And there’s always a party.

Organising a birthday = busy.

So how can the preparation be made fun? Enjoyable? Not stressful? And ultimately – organised?

Get ahead of yourself.

 

This can be easier said than done – so I follow a few guidelines to help me:

1. Plan the birthday

Churchill, despite leading Great Britain to Victory during WWII, was also generally a switched on guy.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” Winston Churchill

More Churchill quotes can be found on a previous post. I’m a fan, what can I say?

It doesn’t have to be an extremely detailed or complicated plan. My daughter, and I, sat down and listed who was invited, who had responded and what they’d requested to eat. There’s a date set to chase RSVP’s (the invites were handmade – simple, frugal and most importantly – personal).

She even has a coordinating folder to store her paperwork!

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Organised Kids are great, aren’t they?

A running list has been outlined. 3pm is meet and greet, 3.15pm entertainment begins, 4.15pm it’s time for food etc…

There’s a list of items to take to the venue, CD player, matches for the candles. A duplicate of this list is already sitting in a box that we will use to take everything with us on the day.

2. Don’t leave everything until the last-minute

The date of a birthday doesn’t change, nor does the date of Christmas day. This gives me 365 days prior to that date to start to get organised. I don’t use all 365 days, but I also do not leave it until 48 hours before the day to begin preparations.

There is ample opportunity to pick up bits and pieces that are required, without needing to make special trips and extra journeys.

For example, I know I need yellow table covering for my daughter’s birthday party.

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This won’t change as I get closer to the day. I popped into Sainsbury’s and noticed they had some reduced to half-price. I bought it. This action has 2 benefits. Firstly I have the item stored away, there will be no emergency dash trying to find what I need, and not being able to locate it. It is probable that it may also save me money – no impulse purchase or express delivery charge required.

3. Set a schedule for the preparation

Schedule what can be done in advance. For example, there’s always going to be a birthday cake.

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This can’t be baked until 72 hours before, but I can ensure that everything I need, I have in advance – cake board, icing, ribbon, candles… I’ve also allocated a slot in my diary to bake the cake.

There’s nothing quite like a homemade birthday cake, in my opinion. If you’d like to learn how to make your own – take a look at my recipe on how to make a simple birthday cake.

The party bags are always fun to make.

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They can be done a couple of weeks in advance. My daughter loves making her own.

There will be a pass-the-parcel at the party. It’s Β all wrapped up ready to go. Surplus to requirement lollies have been stored away for the last couple of months. Leftover wrap and tissue paper is recycled.

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Catering for parties I find easiest when I make up food bags. Paper bags are ordered, decorated and laid flat. A couple of days before the party I will hit Aldi with a shopping list and buy the items for inside.

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There are tubs ready for the fruit and vegetables that will be chopped up and placed on the table. This will be done the night before and stored in the fridge.

Just 3 simple guidelines help me to get ahead of myself. Not just when organising birthday parties, but generally when I have an event to organise.

How do you get ahead of yourself?

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn March 24, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I don’t quite understand the catering for the party (just maybe differences of language across the pond), but are you putting food into the bags for each person to eat?

    • simplybeingmum March 24, 2014, 2:56 pm

      Yes individual bags. Each child had their own bag…

      • Jo H. March 25, 2014, 4:12 am

        I find this intriguing also – what kinds of things do you buy to go in the bags? (At first I thought you meant treat bags but I see those earlier in the post.)

  • Live and Learn March 24, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I don’t quite understand the catering for the party (just maybe differences of language across the pond), but are you putting food into the bags for each person to eat?

    • simplybeingmum March 24, 2014, 2:56 pm

      Yes individual bags. Each child had their own bag…

      • Jo H. March 25, 2014, 4:12 am

        I find this intriguing also – what kinds of things do you buy to go in the bags? (At first I thought you meant treat bags but I see those earlier in the post.)

  • Apple March 24, 2014, 10:31 pm

    Oh, how I hate party bags! And classic party food in general! And the waste of all the food, paper, decorations, part-bag toys!

    BUT kids love them, party bags and decorations look good. Furthermore I do not want to end up an ‘About a Boy’ type of mom… πŸ™‚

  • Apple March 24, 2014, 10:31 pm

    Oh, how I hate party bags! And classic party food in general! And the waste of all the food, paper, decorations, part-bag toys!

    BUT kids love them, party bags and decorations look good. Furthermore I do not want to end up an ‘About a Boy’ type of mom… πŸ™‚

  • Jo H. March 25, 2014, 4:15 am

    The standard in our area was to have a party every year from starting school until about age fourteen, so the preparations became pretty simple after a year or two of practice! I did about the same as you – buy as much ahead of time and on sale as possible. Make lists. Leave time free for the stuff that needed done last-minute. I used to enjoy it, actually πŸ™‚

    Happy birthday to your girl! I hope she has a wonderful time!

    • simplybeingmum April 3, 2014, 1:36 pm

      Birthdays are for enjoying. I’m making the most it whilst they still want to have them…

  • Jo H. March 25, 2014, 4:15 am

    The standard in our area was to have a party every year from starting school until about age fourteen, so the preparations became pretty simple after a year or two of practice! I did about the same as you – buy as much ahead of time and on sale as possible. Make lists. Leave time free for the stuff that needed done last-minute. I used to enjoy it, actually πŸ™‚

    Happy birthday to your girl! I hope she has a wonderful time!

    • simplybeingmum April 3, 2014, 1:36 pm

      Birthdays are for enjoying. I’m making the most it whilst they still want to have them…

  • Maria July 11, 2014, 8:19 pm

    Very wise to include your daughter into the planning process and decision making. All the DIY decorations and favors looked wonderful, especially the favor bags. Great photos!

  • Maria July 11, 2014, 8:19 pm

    Very wise to include your daughter into the planning process and decision making. All the DIY decorations and favors looked wonderful, especially the favor bags. Great photos!

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