13 June 2012, by Mandy Loh
Woohoo! Cristan’s turned ONE!
To celebrate the momentous occasion (and the fact that Tim and I have survived a year of parenthood without killing each other), we threw a simple party over the weekend, catching up with family and friends over lunch.
Now, I’ve heard of parents who go the whole nine yards organising their child’s first birthday party, sometimes dishing out thousands of dollars on a fancy gig. But we knew we just wanted something not too elaborate, that Cristan and our guests would enjoy. And I’m glad to say that it went rather well, because Cristan really looked like he had fun! And hopefully, so did the other guests!
Anyway, if you’re planning to celebrate your little one’s birthday, here are some tips for pulling off a simple and fuss-free party!
1. Have a fun theme
We had a race car theme as Cristan’s current favourite toy is his red pushcar, which was prominently featured in the e-vite for the party.
So we got a friend to design and bake a cake specially for us. Look at how cute it is! (ps. if you want to order cakes from her, I’ll be happy to pass along her contact!)
Although I didn’t go all out decorating the entire function room, I did place some checkered flags around the tables just to reinforce the theme.
We also dressed up in Ferrari T-shirts (coincidentally, Tim’s favourite F1 team) to add to the fun!
2. Have some balloons, the fastest and easiest party decor available!
Balloons added a great atmosphere, and I was so happy to find a great design for a 1st birthday, in line with racing cars!
By the way, balloons are a definite must-have at any kids’ party. They serve triple functions as decoration AND toys AND giveaways to guests when they leave!
3. Cater for the needs of the little ones
This is essential, as it is after all a kid’s party! We created a safe play area lined with playmats specially for our little guests, and I believe it was well-received. I’m fortunate to be the grateful recipient of lots of hand-me-down toys from my sister, so I was able to fill up the play area quite easily with our own toys. If not, there are companies that rent out toys for parties too!
It’s a good thing Cristan didn’t mind other kids playing with his toys. He was probably too busy having fun to notice!
If your guest list includes several babies, it might also be a good idea to provide some high chairs for them. Useful especially if the party is during a meal time.
4. Display photos of your baby’s first year
As you can tell, most of the preparations were pretty simple. The only thing that I spent a bit of time on, was this special picture gallery of Cristan, with a photo of each month of him since birth. It did take some time to do it up, but I figured it would become a permanent display piece in our house anyway, so it was a good investment of time.
The guests really enjoyed looking at the photos, and after all, the party is to celebrate just that – our baby’s wonderful first year.
5. Appoint an official photographer to capture the moments
Lastly, it’s really important to ensure that somebody is helping to snap pictures of the day. The appointed photographer could be a friend, relative or even a paid professional (although the last option would be quite costly). I asked Tim’s brother to do us this favour, and I must say he did a fantastic job!
Despite the mayhem that would ensue, I would highly encourage making the effort to organise group photos of guests during the cake-cutting. Good memories for keeps!
Well, I know I won’t win “the party of the year” award, but we were pretty happy with our party and I hope these tips would be useful for you if you’re aiming for a simple party too. All the best!
ps. To the friends and family that came by to celebrate with us, thank you so much for your love!