The Birthday Party

To date, I’ve thrown 22 birthday parties for my daughters.

None of them — not even the monkey-themed one where we rented an inflated chimp bouncy thing and I baked a monkey-in-a-coconut-tree cake — would be considered remotely extravagant.  Especially in this era of “reality” tv shows like “My Super Sweet 16” and “Platinum Babies.”

Still, my kids’ parties have been a far cry from the simple gatherings of my childhood, where we played “hot potato” or “pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey” and went home with nothing but a tummy full of cake and ice cream. Goodie bags? Huh?

Until recently, conspicuous celebration seemed to be the rule rather than the exception, and not just for celebrity parents. With the bad economy, though, some moms and dads are scaling back.

Then again, some aren’t.

My daughters have never been to one of these over-the-top parties, so I haven’t had to deal with whatever questions or issues attending such an event might raise. But if they were invited to, say, a  Girls’ Spa Day Party, I think I’d have to put my foot down…and go with them.

I really need a pedicure.


The Birthday Party

You’re invited! You’re invited!
And we would all be
so delighted
If you’d accept this invitation
to Hannah’s PRINCESS celebration!
Next Saturday from noon till eight,
it’s Party Time, so Save The Date!

There’ll be inflated Bouncy Castles
with satin drapes and silver tassels.
Minstrels and Magicians, too,
and a Medieval Petting Zoo!
Don’t miss the Knight upon his Horse
with flowing mane (all white, of course!);
plus you can ride a Unicorn
complete with sparkly rainbow horn!

We’ll also have a Tumbling Group,
Face Painters and a Ballet Troupe,
a Clown who twists and shapes balloons,
a Dee-Jay spinning Top Ten Tunes!
And over on the second stage?
That Boy Band that’s just all the rage!

And next, but certainly not least,
comes the Royal Birthday Feast:
hot dogs, burgers, shish kebab,
curly fries, corn on the cob,
canapés and caviar,
tapas and a sushi bar,
shrimp and oysters, shucked and chilled –
enough for guests to get their fill.
We also had the bakery make
a seven-layered castle cake,
and hired the gourmet ice cream mart
to bring their new gelato cart.

Each guest will get a Goodie Bag
that’s stuffed with precious birthday swag:
candy, toys, a princess crown,
a Princess Barbie, princess gown,
jewelry, make-up, DVDs,
an iPod and some new CDs.

Enclosed you’ll find all information
needed for our celebration:
•wristbands (two)
•a schedule of events for you
•the website for RSVPs (Just e-mail us; no phone calls, please.)
And so that parking won’t be trouble,
attached are tickets for the Shuttle.

And please: no gifts.
(But if you must, she’s registered at Toys’R’Us.)

You’re invited! You’re invited!
And we would all be
so delighted
If you’d accept this invitation
to Hannah’s PRINCESS celebration!

©2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


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