As mentioned in this post, we had plans of celebrating Mantam’s birthday this year with pomp and show J First item to tick off in the list of preparations was choosing the theme. We were confused as Mantam had both boys and girls coming to the party. The theme had to be gender neutral and something that all kids must equally enjoy. After a lot of brainstorming, we finalized “Magic” as the theme as Mantam had developed a sudden interest in Magic at that point in time. After theme selection, planning other things around it becomes easier. We booked a party hall as our flat is too small to entertain people. We I decided that the colours we would play with would be Black, White and Red. I searched for free printable invites but did not find any. I found an idea of Bunny-in-a-Magic-Hat invitation on Pinterest. We took it up as a small project work and made around 28 cards by cutting, pasting and writing each one of them.
Mantam had made a list of friends they wanted to invite. Since they were both in separate classes and also had a few common friends from the after school care, the number of invitees came up to 28. They handed out the invitations to their guests and I waited for the kids’ parents to RSVP. Out of 28, we got confirmation from 19 kids. We went to a store called Discount Party Warehouse and bought all the party essentials like balloons, party popper, table covers, cutleries, tissues, hats, blowouts, birthday banner etc. I looked for magic wands high and low to hand out to kids as soon as they entered the hall. But the ones that I found costed 5$ each and we didn’t want to spend so much on giving it to all the kids. I didn’t want to buy just for the birthday girls as that might dishearten the other kids. We left it at that.
For return gifts, I searched so many websites which offered theme based items. But this theme not being very popular had very few options and I was dilly dallying on whether to order or not. Just then on one random visit to K-mart we found Magic Kits for kids which had lots of magic tricks and accessories along with the magic wand. That was the perfect bet for us. We bought 20 of them. After return gifts, the biggest headache was what food to serve and where to order from. Since this was our first time hosting a party here, we were a bit confused. We decided that we would keep it simple and make it at home. Our close friends were to come over the previous day to lend us a hand. This made me increase the level of complexity and plan for more items.
Me being me, am used to overloading my plate to the brim. I also took the responsibility of making the cake and cupcakes. I wanted to make a magic hat with bunny cake to match the invitation. I made it using fondant. Since it was my first time experience with fondant, the end result was not well polished. There were cracks and to hide them I piped some white butter cream with some unusual designs. I made bunny cupcakes to go with the theme. (The bunnies looked more like baby pigs to me :-P) I pinged my dear friend in Bangalore who is an author with the list of items that we planned to serve. I asked her to add some suffix to each of them to make it sound magical. She did a wonderful job and we had magical (sounding) food items on the table.
I planned to make Mantam wear black and white gowns but I did not find good ones in our range of budget. Then we decided to buy their dress from an Indian store. I wanted to wear a party gown and luckily got a plain black one with a golden belt. Abbas wanted to be more casual and comfortable and we let him be. My friend Shree and her husband Ravi came over the previous day. If it wasn’t for Shree, I wouldn’t have pulled it off. She has a never-ending source of energy and enthusiasm within her that kept the momentum. We made one dish after the other like efficient chefs. Our close friend Ro also came over and helped us a lot with prep and shuttling around for stuff. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that we looked for magician to perform a magic show at the party. But they charged a bomb and we decided to drop it. Yours truly, who knows a few magic tricks herself, decided to don the magician hat and entertain the kids. How was I to go wrong when the birthday girls turned my helpers?
The D-Day arrived and we were ready with everything right on time. We had booked the party hall from 4 PM to 10 PM. The party invitation was from 5:30 to 8:30. We had 90 mins on each side to deck the hall up prior to the party and to clean it up later. We worked as a team and set everything up by the time guests started pouring in. Most of the parents dropped their kids and left. Some parents whom we had personally invited stayed back. Kids started playing with their magic wands and blowouts. We had arranged a few games like pinning the magic hat on the magician (which was drawn on a chart paper by Abbas) and passing the magic hat. I then performed the Magic show by involving kids from the audience. I would like to believe that they enjoyed it J
We did the cake cutting ceremony and when everyone gathered on the stage surrounding the table, we realised that we had missed the lighter. Abbas quickly ran to get it from the car. It was funny as we were all about to cut the cake yet didn’t have anything to light the candles. Cake was cut, food was served. Kids quickly had their food and started playing. The hall was quite spacious and they simply enjoyed running around and entertaining themselves. Slowly the parents started coming back to pick their kids. By 8 all the guests had left and we started packing up. We asked Shree and Ravi to stay back that night as well as we were all dead tired. They had brought a Barbie house for Mantam and showed it to them after coming home. Mantam were on cloud nine and couldn’t wait to open all their presents.
A few pictures: