Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hazel’s Book Themed Birthday Bash

Invitation created on Paperless Post. 

As promised, here are some photos from Hazel’s 10th birthday party.  We only do parties on even years, so Hazel had two years to debate and think and plan and set high expectations.  This seemed like a recipe for disaster, this girl has high hopes for things like birthday parties.  But, she planned pretty much all of it on her own and never second guessed any of her ideas or decisions.  This she did NOT inherit this ability from me! At the end of the day she was all smiles saying that it was the best birthday party ever (even though of course there were some glitches, and lots of imperfections).  She then asked me if I wanted to know her secret --- “you just have to lower your expectations and then you’re always happy.”  Old, wise soul. 

Anyway, the party was perfectly imperfect.  Mostly because she really did call the shots and was cool with me ratcheting some of her elaborate ideas down.   We had a good time pulling this off together.  Nothing was perfectly pinterest, but I’m realizing more and more how much kids don’t care about that.  They care about ownership, about having ideas and building on them.  They’re not trying to create something out of competition, but out of that creative spark that’s bursting out of them.  I hate it that part of that dies as we move away from childhood. 

Anyway, I’m digressing (are you noticing a theme here on my blog lately?  Letting kids take over, simplifying, taking a back seat parenting approach?  Where is this all coming from?  Maybe more on that later.)

Hazel’s chosen theme was books.  Of course this made me smile.  I love that she loves books and reading, that she is a little bookworm. 

She asked her friends to come dressed as a favorite character from a book.  She was Anne of Green Gables.  We had the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland there, Calvin and Hobbs, Hermione and some other folks I wasn’t as familiar with.   IMG_6299 IMG_6293Oh, and we had Ralph S. Mouse from the Mouse and the Motorcycle (not much resemblance, but Peter grasps any opportunity to look like a cool biker dude).  IMG_6300 As friends arrived we made this cool book art.  This is an addicting (and very aesthetically pleasing) thing to do with some down time.  The kids all got pretty creative.   We just used an old book from one of my Wellesley Women’s Studies classes and sliced it up with an x-acto knife.  IMG_6303 IMG_6307 The kids played some improve games where they had to introduce each other’s characters (in their own character).  And one where they had to act like their character might act in a certain setting or scenario while others watched to guess what the scenario/setting was.  As soon as you thought you knew the setting you could jump in and start doing what you thought your character might do in that situation.  It was pretty funny. IMG_6311  IMG_6316 IMG_6317 We had a Yankee book swap.  Great way to pass around some already read books. 

Jeff also lead a game where the kids had to guess which books certain passages came from.  I was off getting pizza, so no photos of this….but I heard it was a hit.  IMG_6322 And then the real hit….Hazel’s traditional piñata.  She’s had a piñata for every birthday party.  This book one she and I made out of an amazon box.  It was pretty darn strong and took some serious whacking to break open.  IMG_6327   IMG_6338  IMG_6345 IMG_6349 And then, of course, presents and cake.  I love the present opening part of parties.  I love seeing how excited the giver is to give and the birthday girl is to receive.  And I love that it gives them a chance to thank the giver in person.  IMG_6350 IMG_6351  We always play “Heavy Heavy Hang over” as we open gifts.  This is a British(?) tradition where the giver says a little rhyme:  Heavy Heavy Hangover thy poor head.  What do you wish with a bump on the head.  They then give the receiver a little bump with the gift and the birthday girl tells them one nice thing they wish for the giver.  Hazel’s default wish is that the giver will get a swimming pool in their back yard.  I just love that it slows things down a bit and helps the gift receiver to think a little about the giver before tearing into their loot.  IMG_6357 IMG_6361

And the girl always picks blondies over birthday cake. That’s as easy as it gets. IMG_6369

Even with all of her involvement, pulling that party off was exhausting.   But I’m pretty sure it was worth it, judging from the constant smile on her face. 

She’s already thinking about her 12th birthday party. 


  1. OH man, I almost missed this! What a fabulous idea for a birthday party! LOVED the costumes and the wonderful theme. So creative! Hazel may have planned it but she couldn't have done it without her amazing mom! Hey that has a ring to it...Hazel's Amazing Mother! That's you!

  2. This looks like a practically perfect birthday party! I love the theme and costumes. Oh, and a perfect use for an old Wellesley women's study textbook!

  3. Happy Birthday Hazel!! I can’t believe that you planned everything of your birthday party. Well, these pictures are just incredible. I will simply say that you are an expert party planner and in future you will grow very high.



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