Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Party Hearty

On Saturday my cousins and I had a cousin party. Is that redundant? So I don't know if it's a Utah thing or just a thing, but the women I live near are really into throwing very cute and craftily-decorated parties. Starting at the tender age of 1, their kids are treated to elaborate themed birthday bashes with correspondingly large guest lists. In contrast, the highlight of my daughters' first birthday parties has involved giving them a cupcake in their high chair to get messy with. Voila! Every kid's dream first birthday! It's been kind of an adjustment for me here.

I think it would be easy to say that these moms are in a competition, and they just want people to 'ooh' and 'ahh' over what they've done. I know there is that element, but I think more than that, these moms just want the party or birthday to be special, and decorating and cooking is a way to do it. The problem then comes when their friends are throwing these super cool parties and they start thinking that maybe they're not doing enough, and they're being a slacker mom, and wow, won't it be embarrassing when their friends ask what they did for their kids birthday and all they did was cake and ice cream. Then you end up with over-the-top parties and the element of competition creeps in.

It was so refreshing to hear a mom I know talking about taking her son to Burger King on his birthday to get a crown for him. I thought, here is a mom who is really concerned with making her kid's day special by doing what is important to him, not what is important to her. Some kids might care about having a ton of friends/"friends" at their party and intense food and decorations, but I don't think most kids do.

So back to my cousins party, I know we would be happy sitting around my unadorned table and talking for a few hours, but I decided to decorate anyway. Just like we get dressed up to go to church or to a wedding, I think there is value in decorating for special occassions and holidays to lend an air of importance to them. But it's hard to rein yourself in sometimes. I could have easily spent 50 dollars on a tablecloth and dressing up my house. But I borrowed a teapot, serving set, and vases from Mom, spent 5 bucks on fabric from the fabric store, 6 dollars on flowers, and everything looked really nice. (Although pitiful compared to my friends' parties.)

My Kitchen

Females of any age like tea parties

Look! I did a crafty decoration by my calendar!

Like I said, I knew I didn't have to decorate for us to have a great time, but it helped make our get-together feel special. So I'm glad I did.


Job and Rachael said...

It looks great! Those simple little touches make a place look special :) And three cheers for tea parties!!
I feel a little the same way out here (maybe because there are many women from Utah in our ward...) I just went to an amazing, over the top baby shower, and now I have to turn around and throw one for a friend of mine who went to it. Darn, she might be disappointed ;)

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