As phase two was confirmed I looked forward to a little party to celebrate my son's 6th birthday.
I'm just settling down with a big mug of tea following a very successful 6th birthday party in our house. I can't quite believe I've written those words, but there you go. My son turned six today and because his birthday was after the 8th June I was hopeful that the easing of restrictions would mean that a short visit from grandparents might be possible for his big day.
As of this week we welcomed a new phase of the easing of restrictions in Ireland and as part of that phase we are now permitted to have short visits to other people's houses if social distancing is considered. For some of you that might just mean that you can now throw a small "party" for your little one's birthday.
My heart is full after today's celebrations. It was declared the "best birthday ever" by one excited six year old boy and that's pretty much the dream isn't it? I wanted to share a couple of the revelations that I had today. Things that helped, worked out well and ultimately made all the difference.
Less Is More
I feel like deep down I've always known this one but today really confirmed it for me. Everything was less. We had less people (just grandparents and his cousin). Less food. Less planning and less stress. It's a no-brainer when the result was sheer joy from the birthday boy.
One Pot Wonders Are Winners
Over the years I've been known to go overboard when it comes to party food. I want there to be something for everyone. Well this year I did a one pot wonder and it is honestly the way to go. One big pot of curry was easy to prep and clean up after. It could be made in advance, heated when needed and the rice and garlic bread (I know, I know) were quick and easy too.
I Don't Have To Make The Cake
It was all very last minute as we waited for confirmation about Ireland entering phase two of the easing of restrictions. For this reason I didn't bake the cake. My son wanted a Pokemon cake and luckily I spotted one in my local supermarket. It wasn't expensive and he was over the moon with it. I could have put pressure on myself to bake something last minute, but this worked out brilliantly. There was less stress and hassle all round.
I was worried that with so few people our house wouldn't have that party "vibe". I selected a kids party playlist on YouTube and it was the perfect backdrop.
Next Time We'll Source Sustainably
As I was packing away the birthday bits and pieces (candle, party bags, balloons, decorations etc) I realized how truly wasteful it is to buy these things every year or for every birthday. I'm going to source sustainably from now on because why on earth wouldn't I? Always learning.
People Not Things
I won't lie, my son was majorly spoiled with toys and gifts today but the most important points of the day related to the people. When we asked him how the party was he mentioned names, funny moments and elements that were people-centered. We put so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to presents and parties but children crave time and connections way more.
Midweek Parties Are Actually Lovely
Like many people we've always had birthday parties at the weekend. It suits people (and us) due to the logistics of work and childcare etc. However, I really liked having an excuse to take a midweek day off from work. There is something rather lovely about celebrating a birthday on the actual date. It might mean less people can come but remember less really is more.