Every parent has birthday jitters for their kids, especially when it comes to their little one’s first birthday. Some anxious moms start planning at the baby’s six months milestone. Being grateful about your baby’s one year milestone can sometimes come with a price- A big birthday bash! If you are a Nigerian, friends would expect you to make it Naija style- ‘Big and Bourgeois’ . Weddings, Birthdays, Child Dedication, Anniversary parties turn out to be the loudest owambe scene in Naija. These take a lot of money and energy to organize. If your little one’s birthday is what you want to splurge on, it’s fine but if you are just not feeling up to it financially, mentally or even physically, this post is for you.
Before we go further, ask yourself; “Why am I throwing this big bash? Who and what is really important?”. My opinion on first birthday parties is that it’s mostly for the parents and their guests(Let’s be honest, a one year old doesn’t have friends in the main sense of the word). So with that in mind, here are tips on how to do a budget- friendly, almost-stress-free first birthday bash.
- Keep it Simple: We love our friends, Facebook friends, colleagues, church members, don’t we? But in this case wisdom is profitable. Invite just family members and close friends with their kids. This way, you don’t really have to stress about keeping up appearances. Family will help you organize things also.
- Invitation: Since you are dealing with a family circle, you don’t need to print invitations on cards. Just send them e-invitations, or give them a call or text.
- Use your house or a trusted family’s house as venue: No, you don’t need a whole Park or Hall. You can use your house or someone else’s if it’s spacious, convenient and kid friendly.
- Make a mix-tape: Bye bye to Dee-Jay. Say hello to your lil’ friend! * in Tony Montana’s voice. You can compile your favorite songs yourself or let someone who knows how, do it for you. Choose songs from your Personal Computer, rip it, burn it into a CD. Tadaaa! You are done.
- Food: You can splurge a bit on this one. Have variety. Small chops, ‘Big chops’.Remember it’s a children’s party, so arrange for kids pack and adults pack. Make light meals, not eba and soup. I won’t advice you do the cooking, since our emphasis is on STRESS-FREE. Give a caterer jare, you tooo stingy. LOL
- Drinks: Get what the kids would love. You can have special drinks for the adult. If you have Akpeteshi-drinking folks, provide the Akpeteshi. I love to do cocktails, to put a personal touch. You could start with Chapman.
- Cake and catering: It should be as sweet and yummy as it’s decorated. Please tell your cake vendor this. Some beautifully designed cakes do not taste as good as they look. Queen cakes and cookies are pleasing to the eyes and taste buds. You could add those.
- Decoration, Themed Party bags and Favors: If you are doing a themed party, this is where you exhibit your theme. You don’t have to go to an expensive party store. To my surprise, these decorating items and party bags are everywhere now and very cheap. The vendors even provide you with ideas of souvenirs to put in them. Get colorful stationery items, biscuits, packed drink, party poppers, toys etc, and you will make the kids happy. Forget the adults joooo. Balloons are your best friend. Have lots of it for decoration, for gifts and for games. You would be amazed how these little things matter to kids. You felt the same way with balloons, at their age.
- Entertainment: If you can’t afford a Clown or an Animated themed mascot, just pick a lively adult among family and friends that’ll stand in. Play games, quizzes, songs and just entertain.
- Get a good photographer: This, I do not joke with. Get a professional photographer. They capture beautiful moments that can’t be gotten back. A good photographer can make a low- budget party look like a million bucks.They’d capture your baby and make him/her look like a star. If you plan on having a Tablescape (A table displaying an artistic arrangement of items), they will capture it perfectly. They know what to focus on and what not to. Get one and make your social media friends wish they were you. LOL
With these tips, you’d have an enviable, fun and meaningful first birthday bash but for less. Now you can take some cake to those your friends you didn’t invite. Don’t worry. Your baby doesn’t care whether or not a bash is thrown the big way. She might even freak out cutting the cake. Just know that, you have to start saving for that big birthday bash when it would really matter to her to show off. Good luck with that!
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