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Beyond Balloons: Planning for all things related to Birthdays

Birthdays are oh’ so fun.  The planning, gifts, and supplies needed to properly celebrate can be organized to help you feel like the parent of the year.

Clean the Gift Closet:  Many of us buy gifts all year round with the plan to give for special occasions.  Whether you have a shelf or whole closet, knowing what you have is very important.  One easy way to track gift giving and your gift closet is the Gifted App.  It helps you organize gifts, people, events and your budget.  My favorite part of the app is the “gift closet”.   You can take pictures and keep inventory of your gift closet for easy access while you’re out shopping.  If you know what you have, you’re less likely to over buy and you’ll feel way more organized.

Birthday Bin:  This is my favorite organizing tool for birthdays if you have kids in the house.  It’s very simple.  Label a plastic bin Birthdays.  In it you can keep your birthday banners and signs, streamers, balloons, hats, buttons, pretty much any decorations that can be reusable.  This will save you some time and money, as you’ll never have to re-buy the big birthday banners and you’ll always have decorations ready to use.

Left Over Supplies:  You have some left over Avengers party plates and napkins.  You may think putting them in the Birthday bin would be best, but not really.  Your child will probably want a different theme next year.  A better place to put them is where you can use them.  The napkins can go with your everyday napkins and the plates with your other paper plates.  It’s a special treat for kids to get an Avengers plate on a regular ol’ Monday and throw the napkin in his school lunch and he’ll be smiling all day.

Kiss Goodie Bags Goodbye:  Is it just me or do we all strongly dislike the goodie bags?  They are typically filled with candy and small throw away trinkets our kids don’t need and many times don’t want.  If you’re planning a party and “need” some goodie bags, try to think outside the bag.  Think big but budget friendly.  Have your daughter make all her friends a friendship bracelet, have your son write notes to his friends on a baseball.  These can be fun goodies that aren’t just more stuff in the trash.   I recently asked my kids about their favorite party favors that they had ever gotten.  My 13 year old son’s favorite?  A beach ball.  Now that’s fun and memorable.  He even remembered who gave it to him.

A Little Extra Something:  Birthdays are a great time to make your own family traditions.  Cake for breakfast, a special meal or a visit from the birthday fairy, kids thrive on traditions.  Having older kids (13-20), it makes me smile when they want to continue a tradition from their childhood.  When our kids were little, we would “call” the Birthday Fairy and request a visit.  The Birthday Fairy would visit while the birthday child was asleep.  When they woke up their room would be decorated with balloons and streamers.  This is fun and easy and continues to this day.  Whatever you decide to do with your family to make a tradition, keep it easy.  If it’s hard to do, the likelihood of it continuing for 20 years or more are pretty slim.

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