A few weeks ago, we celebrated Ella’s 7th birthday and the theme could not have been more fitting – a SUPERHERO Birthday.
In a Pinterest-DIY era, it is easy to get caught up in big themey birthday parties. Just search “little girl’s birthday party” and you will be bombarded with pictures and pins of perfectly styled birthday parties – the food, the decorations, the games, absolutely everything will perfectly suit whichever theme the hosts have chosen. If you add your desired theme to the search line, such as minions, or lego batman or princesses, you will be sure to find exactly what you are looking for. But there are risks to this method of party planning. First of all, not everyone can pull it off. It takes a lot of time, not to mention, money. And secondly, you risk forgetting who the birthday party is actually for. It’s not for your Pinterest board but it is for your special little someone.
When I was considering Ella’s birthday party, I thought about all the themes at my disposal, all the places we could go, like the trampoline park and the possible entertainment such as a magician. But then I thought, what would Ella want? I came to the conclusion that all Ella really wanted for her birthday was to play at the park with her friends and eat cake…so that is exactly what we did.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against themes and to those who can pull them off – power to you! The Superhero theme was an easy choice for us because while Ella isn’t totally into superheroes, she is a superhero (and she isn’t into Disney Princesses).
I find teaching gratitude to a child is one of the most difficult aspects of parenthood. Children are born as selfish, greedy little beings. My son is constantly asking for new lego sets and gives Grandma his updated wish list regularly but Ella, Ella is different. While she loves to receive gifts, it doesn’t bother her to not to. Last year, we did five for five ($5 for a gift of Ella’s choosing and $5 for a charity). This year, with nothing in mind that Ella really needed or wanted we decided just to give money to charity. The charity we chose was the Stollery Children’s Hospital here in Edmonton. We have had only a short relationship with the Stollery but we know a little girl, who is Ella’s age who has had 26 surgeries at the Stollery. They are changing lives and saving lives and their work is more than worthy of a birthday celebration.
The Stollery also made it super easy and honoured Ella for being a Stollery Superstar. They provided cards to put in with the invitations explaining what we were doing and how to donate. They also gave us balloons, pencils and bookmarks to put in the loot bags for our guests. And after all was said and done, we made a trip to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation office, where Ella could present her giant donation cheque and go on the wall of superstars. She was thrilled.
Overall, I would say the birthday party was a big success. It wasn’t Pin worth though, it was better!