In our Luminous Elephant Studio of course! What kind of a loveable self promoter would I be if I didn't sing our happy birthday party praises?!
Spring is slinking around Granville Island in the form of rose, mint and raspberry hued tulips, billowing white clouds and sailboats spinning drunkenly around the marina. GLORIOUS! While I write this little happy post, kids are playing the Ukulele in our studio music class and chasing Lucy into the courtyard.
Anyway, back to Birthday Parties - the truth is... I almost grew tired to them. Almost.
I mean, of course I love parties. (Party? Yes! Cake? Obviously! Friends and family and merriment? Absolutely! ) But I was feeling a little less-than-awesome about the flurry of activity zipping by wildly in two hours with our BIG parties)
But Maddie, what's wrong with big parties?
First of all - they are usually loud and fast and quite stressful for families. Even when they are held here - out of the house and in our pretty studio.
Second of all, before you know it, the party has gone by in a blur. And who wants their very special day that only comes once a year to go by in a blur?
Thirdly, when you have a lot of kids parties can be very expensive. And I know we all make financial allowances for the promise of something lovely - but really, often these noisy parties are not that lovely at all.
And then. One day I hosted a slightly different kind of studio party and of all the parties we celebrated here, this is the one everyone went wild for. Because connection.
It was really so simple. A family came in to chat about a party for their 7 year old daughter Sophie and announced 19 kids would be attending. They were excited to have a 'Paris' party for her and we created a theme of having the kids sew their very own french bears with jaunty berets.
I really wanted to create an experience that would be joyous and memorable in all the very best ways. I suggested that the family consider limiting the list to 10 kids - and invite their family and friends to stay as well rather than dropping the kids off. I offered that they might bring wine (wine!) And cheese. (cheese!) We chatted about projecting photos of the birthday girl on our theatre wall, creating a wonderful playlist of Sophie's favourite music - simply hanging out together, connecting. As if they were having a home party (which really are the very best parties anyway) but without the weariness of clean up. Because after all, we have a couch, a tea cart, very comfy chairs, and a courtyard and a waterfall. Who doesn't love a waterfall?
Pretty as a picture!
And so they did. It was incredibly beautiful. Pretty as a picture. In fact all the parents really got into the bear sewing and were helping their kids with the unique designs of these very French bears. They sipped on wine, played music, nibbled on appetizers. And oh, it actually turned into a bit of a potluck as various friends brought along some treats to share. Of course there was cake. After the celebration they all decided to go for a walk down to Granville Island together in the sunshine. It was a just like a storybook party. I could go on forever about that afternoon I loved it so much!
So. See where I am going with this? WhereEVER you have your party for your little one - or even if it is a celebration for yourself - remember 'connection.' Slow it down, choose your friends thoughtfully - settle in and cherish the time together in an old fashioned happy way. Chat. Eat, drink, celebrate, create - together:) You rule the party - not the other way around.
My daughter Tess sent this to me today - needless to say I love it.