In October 2013, I joined The Nester's annual 31 Days challenge. My topic: birthdays.
If you're just joining the party, let’s start with a little Q&A, shall we?
You aren’t exactly a daily blogger, right? And now you’re going to post something every day for the entire month of October? Are you insane?
Right. Yes. And most likely certifiable.
But this is how it works: Each fall, The Nester invites bloggers to post about one topic, everyday, for the entire month of October. It's like a marathon of writing. This year, I'm joining up. My writing needs some discipline, and I'm equal parts super excited and throw-up nervous.
So we’re in for it then. 31 Days of Birthdays. What does this mean, exactly?
It means that I love birthdays; I believe they are miniature, personalized holidays. I especially love kids birthdays, because I think kids are fed in a deep way when the people who love them most concentrate all their attention and joy on them for just one day. Life is a reason to celebrate!
Are you going to talk The Pi of Birthdays the whole month?
No. Although I can’t promise I won’t mention the pie of birthdays at some point.
I know. Sorry. No, I don’t intend to pontificate for 31 days on the meaning of birthdays. I mostly want to talk parties and cake and themes and what you can do to make the day special for the people you cherish most.
You’re not one of those moms who throw insane birthday parties, are you? The kind that involve limousine rides and tickets backstage to meet Taylor Swift for their three-year-old?
What? Is that over-the-top?
In a word: No. I’m not a crazy birthday mom. I’m a normal birthday mom, a mom who believes the best parties don’t involve stress or whopping credit card bills. Creativity, whimsy and focusing on what makes you and your child happy - those are the keys. Maybe that’s baking a homemade cake. Maybe it’s ordering a cake from Costco so you can go crazy with decor. Maybe decor means three balloons and a limp streamer but the surprise guest list is killer. Play to your strengths and the interests of your child. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones; they aren’t that great anyway.
Are you sure you’re qualified for this?
I did the math a few days ago. I have four kids, ages 3 to 12. (One of them will even have a birthday this month. Whee!) I’ve thrown a birthday party for each of them every year, mostly because I want to, and partly because we don’t have extended family nearby waiting to descend on us for every occasion. So if I want my child to feel special, I have to throw a party. That means I’ve racked up close to 30 kid birthday parties so far. That’s a lot of parties.
Where do you stand on gift bags?
Hmmmm. I might need to save that answer for another post. I’ve got 31, after all.
You’re right. That’s a lot of posts. Do you have enough material?
Could we not trigger a panic attack the very first day?
I did a 31 Days series a few years ago. (It turned out to be a little more like 21 Days, but whatever. It was on Sabbath, and I had to rest, man. It’s Biblical.) I learned a lot writing that - mostly, there are many ways to look at a subject.
So this month, yes, I plan to show you some of my kids birthday parties from days of yore, and write about themes and how to expand on an idea. I also might do a few recipe posts, because I have the secret to the best chocolate cake on the planet. I might also talk about invitations and birthday traditions and how to host a boy party without wanting to stab yourself in the eyeball by the time it’s over. If I can learn how to do that before the end of the month.
I'm also scheming a few collaborative posts, because I know my readers have wisdom to share about birthdays too. If you haven’t already, I'd love for you to click over to my Facebook page and like my blog so you can join in on the conversation. I plan to post my group-think questions there.
But mostly, I'm not sure what happens tomorrow. I just know it promises to be a party. Birthdays always are.
Day 1: Q&A (you are here)
Day 2: Shamu Birthday Party
Day 3: Breakfast Pajama Party
Day 4: The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
Day 5: The Cow Cake That Wasn't
Day 6: Make Your Own Colored Sugar
Day 7: Horse Birthday Party
Day 8: Spy/Secret Agent Birthday Party
Day 9: Let's Talk Goody Bags
Day 10: Faux Sleepover Stuffed Animal Party
Day 11: Homemade Pizza Crust for Make-Your-Own-Pizza Parties
Day 12: Tween Girl Gift Guide
Day 13: Farm Animal Birthday Party
Day 14: Summer Treats Birthday Party
Day 15: Put Your Cake on a (Flawless) Pedestal
Day 16: Red Bird Birthday Party (guest post by Megan from SortaCrunchy)
Day 17: Luau Birthday Party
Day 18: Luau Punch
Day 19: Wii Birthday Party
Day 20: Get Out! When NOT to Host The Party at Home
Day 21: Surprise Party 101 (guest post by Leigh Kramer)
Day 22: Super Hero Birthday Party
Day 23: Photo Booth Birthday Party (guest post by JJ from The Blah Blah Blahger)
Day 24: Art Birthday Party
Day 25: Silver White Cake with White Mountain Frosting
Day 26: Tween Birthday Idea: Day of Surprises
Day 27: Lego Birthday Party
Day 28: Rock Star Birthday Party (guest post by Megan from Fried Okra)
Day 29: Rainbow Birthday Party
Day 30: Birthdays in Large Families (guest post from Lora Lynn from Vitafamiliae)
Day 31: Princess Birthday Party