Sunday, March 27, 2011

My First Time

When I was a kid, birthday parties meant colorful balloons on a string, one-layer cakes with edible flowers for decoration, candies in a plastic bag, spaghetti, menudo, and fried chicken. These filled our small bungalow on my first and seventh birthday, along with about 20 or so guests which included close family and friends.

Otherwise, we normally just dined out.

And all the while, I thought that's how kiddie birthday parties are still. Oh, was I ever wrong!

It all began when I was planning my daughter's baptism. My hubby has a big family and we had lots of friends who wanted to be part of the event. So the party-at-home thing was out of the picture. We just didn't have enough space for more than 80 people. So I thought, ok, let's just find a venue and find a caterer.

The event turned out great, despite a strong typhoon that hit the northern part of the country then, we still had a lot of guests who turned up. The food tasted good, the decor looked really pretty...but there were a lot of elements I failed to figure in. I didn't have any sound system, and didn't even have a cake (I thought it wasn't necessary. Ehehe. Newbie.)!

My daughter's baptism
So there, charged to experience. 

Now planning my little girl's first birthday was an entirely different story. My eyes were opened to a host of options as far as themes, caterers, decorators, souvenirs, lootbags, giveaways, clothes, etc. are concerned. It was rather overwhelming at first, but I eventually found myself falling in love with all of it! :-)

Sure there's still spaghetti on the menu, but there's also lasagna, roast beef, and even viands with French names - for a kiddie party! Back then, when you had cakes and ice cream, your party's a blast already. Now, there are dessert buffets, choco stations, and lots, lots more. And food carts! I never imagined you could have hotdog stands, pancakes stands, popcorn stands, and even designer coffee stands in a kiddie party.

And oh, my squeals of delight were embarrassing (but very much genuine), when I saw the amazing balloon decorations that are now being done for children's birthday celebrations. Cake archs, balloon pillars that are taller than me, balloons in the shape of animals, balloons cascading from the ceiling... ohhhh it was love at first sight. 

And yes, the lootbags and giveaways. In my day, lootbags meant clear plastic bags with candies, and giveaways meant excess food (pabalot). Now there are lootbags in all shapes and sizes, and they almost always contain more than just candies. They usually have toys, activity books, candies, and snack items. I'm sure today's parties still include pabalots, but giveaways a.k.a souvenirs now mean fancy figurines, towel cakes, backpacks, personalized tumblers, and sometimes, even personalized jewelry. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Really I could oooh and aaah all day about all these wonderful discoveries I had when I was researching for my little girl's first birthday party. I wanted all of those awesome stuff for her first birthday bash! But no, I was working with a budget (which I later exceeded. Woohoo!), so I had to content myself with just the fabulous balloon decor, bubble machine, magic acts, balloon twisting, face painting, and candy buffet. 
My daughter's first birthday

My mom was scared to find out how much everything had cost, my little kiddo was ecstatic and curious about everything she saw at her party, my hubby was proud (despite, errrrr, one major setback we experienced. But that's worthy of a separate post.), and I... I was hungry for more. 

That's how my love for kiddie parties began. :-) And well, let's just say, I just keep on falling in love with everything kiddie-party-related! 

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