The Deputy Headmistress has posted about her family's frugal birthday traditions. We do some things that are frugal, some that aren't, and some things that are just traditions. Some years the Squirrelings have had kid-parties, and some years they've opted for a family outing. Some years the birthday has extended over a weekend or a couple of days as we've celebrated with other relatives.
This week is Ponytails' birthday, and I should really be baking a cake right now instead of blogging. She's invited a couple of friends and her sisters to go mini-golfing with her tomorrow afternoon, and then they'll come back here for hamburgers and cake. Her birthday is sort of a Groovy theme this year; the girls are going to wear anything Groovy they can find, and we're making this Groovy Jeans cake. I don't do cakes that take a lot of skill with an icing tube; I like cut-up cakes or the kind that we can decorate with candies or plastic people or animals (NOT the kind from the cake decorating aisle--we usually use what we have in the toy box).
The best parties we've had are for Mr. Fixit--and they're almost always just for our own family, which is kind of a shame since they're usually very creative (if I do say so myself). The theme is always a surprise (unless he guesses), and it's usually based on whatever he's watching or doing that year. We've had a Dr. Who party (the Tardis was our hall closet), a time-travel-through-your-life party, a records party, a Junior-Monopoly-come-to-life party (when you landed on the Puppet Show, you got a real Puppet show and so on), and I can't remember what else. The most unusual was a Marvin the Star-Nosed Mole party which would only mean anything if you've seen the 13-episode run of the '80's TV series Four on the Floor with The Frantics. (Want to sign a petition to get it put on DVD?) We thought Marvin was wonderful so we made Mr. Fixit a board game starring Marvin and our own Dewey Squirrel (it was based on a Barbie Prom game I used to have), and a brown-dirt cake with a marshmallow Marvin coming out of a molehill. And brown streamers, of course.
Parties should be fun and have a bit of surprise to them, even if the presents are from the dollar store and we forgot to get balloons. That's pretty much the way we do it.