If you have more than one child, or if you are part of a big extended family, you may have run into the dreaded "every day is a party!" scenario. After all, one birthday is great, and two is even better. But three, four, or fifteen in a year, and you might very well experience party burnout. Add in a couple of graduations, a mother's and father's day and the traditional holidays - and you will begin to see that life could, indeed, just be one big party.
What's a parent to do, when faced with so many parties? You may have celebrated your children turning 5 many times over, but each birthday - or graduation - is new and shiny to your child. How can you avoid being a big ball of grumpiness when faced with yet another celebration - and how can you avoid going broke in the process?
One of the key things to remember is that every celebration is new to your child. It may seem like you just celebrated big brother's middle school graduation, but it's her first. Treat each occasion individually. It may have worked to have a bounce house at your oldest boys' graduation - it certainly did at ours - but I already know that the same activity won't be welcome at my daughters'. Take individual tastes and desires into account.
Personalize each party to the desires of each individual as much as possible. It can be tempting to do the same thing over again, serve the same foods and display the same decorations. Don't fall in to that trap, even if your thrifty side begs to reuse the table decorations. You can do that to a certain extent - after all, a blue table cloth with a different flower arrangement and different dishes can look totally different. Accent pieces are your friend.
Invite different people! Your kids are individuals, and their parties should reflect that. It's a special time for your daughter, so make sure to surround her with people who will embrace her specialness.
Make different foods - or even better, make it a theme! Celebrate your mom's birthday with a 1970's fondue fest, or bring back the 50's sock hop for Grandpop's special day! Have foods that are special to that time frame. Maybe your little girl would love a tea party, complete with tiaras and finger sandwiches. Or maybe your son would cherish a cake built like a Lego robot and served by you, dressed as a Star Wars character? A bit far fetched, but you get the idea.
Change up the venue! Maybe your mom is really active, and she'd love to spend her Mother's Day at the local rock climbing gym - or Dad would enjoy a round of putt putt. No one says that every celebration has to be in your home. We recently celebrated my father in law's 90th birthday with a family movie outing. The point is to make the guest of honor feel special, not to recreate the same party over and over.
What are some unique ways you've celebrated big events? How have you gone the extra mile?