They're so lovely to see, but all those lavish table decorations and fancy decorations and pressures to be witty and creative can be a bit overwhelming. And yet, when you're celebrating a special day it seems appropriate to put some love and effort into the project, right? Ah, what a dilemma.
Then along comes Naturally Fun Parties for Kids: Creating Handmade, Earth-Friendly Celebrations for All Seasons and Occasions by Anni Daulter.
Right away the book appeals to me because it is gorgeous! Inside, Anni offers ideas for 12 uniquely-themed parties, organized by season and inspired by nature. No mass-marketed plasticky-looking clipart printables here; maybe that's why is seems so laid-back and do-able. Not to mention the way she organizes all the information, with a list of projects and materials needed, as well as a timeline of preparations beginning 2 weeks (sometimes even 3-4 weeks!) prior to the event. Granted, it's not something you can just download and print off your printer the night before the party, so in that way it is not simple. But true to Daulter's conscious parenting style, she encourages thoughtful preparation that is nurturing of a child's creative spirit, as well as respectful of nature's bounty and fragility. Instead of plastic water bottle labels and fancy cupcake decorations she offers nature-inspired art projects for the kids to participate in at the party and yummy-looking recipes like rosemary-lemon cookies and cheesy faerie wands to fill their sweet little bellies. These seem like the type of party that would be pleasant and fun for both child and parent and are about so much more than fancy layouts and table decorations.
I'm thinking the strawberry-picking and jam-making party idea is in our near future. Either that, or the forest faerie dress-up party... and for my daughter's 5th birthday party next fall? The gratitude party. Just about melts my heart thinking about it! I highly recommend this book for it enjoyment of perusal, ease of understanding and planning, and un-daunting inspiration.
Let me know where you get your inspiration for hosting parties. Do you go all out? Is it the thing to do? And let me know if you check out Anni's book and what you think about it.