First birthday parties are important for a number of reason. However, given that the child is not really aware of what is going on, you might question this statement. I mean, doesn’t the baby just sit in a stroller without any idea what’s happening? If so, then why actually throw first birthday parties at all? Wouldn’t the resources be better spent on purchasing things for the baby?
All of these concerns have gone through the minds of parents throwing first birthday parties. The important thing to remember is that a first birthday party does things for the child that they will not be aware until they are older. It gives friends, family and neighbors a chance to see and support the child. Through this process they come to know the child as an individual. A first birthday party can thus be a great way to start a tradition of support for the child.
First birthday parties are also important because they celebrate the fact that the child has survived their first year. This might not seem like something significant today, but no less than sixty or seventy years ago many parents saw several of their children die before reaching the toddler stage. A first birthday party can thus be an important celebration of the child’s life and future.
If you are in the process of planning and throwing a first birthday party, consider using a checklist, such as the one below. If it is your first time planning and throwing a party, you especially need some guidance and good advice to get you through the process successfully.
Each of the suggestions on this checklist contains only the most basic things you will need for the party:
1.) Decorations. It is highly recommended that you decorate the house for the first birthday as decorating helps to signify the special day and designate a special space for the party. Without decorations the birthday does not seem special.
2.) Clean the house. Similar to decorating, cleaning shows your guests that you consider this to be a very special occasion. Although your baby does not know this, it is important for you as a parent to express your love for the child even when they are not aware of it.
3.) Party favors. Party favors are a fun little thank you to your guests for taking the time to come and be a part of your celebration. Anything from a keychain or magnet containing your child’s picture to a goody bag will do.
4.) Have the party guests sign a large photo of the baby or card for the baby. Once the baby has grown up they will be able to look back and read the messages and know that people care for them. The card will also provide a lasting memento of the party.
5.) Food. First birthdays need to be large, extravagant affairs with lots of food. They should not take more than a couple of hours, so providing some simple cookies or brownies should do. The cake should be the centerpiece of the party because it, more than any other aspect of the party, celebrates the fact that the child has turned one.
6.) Invitations. I believe that all formal parties deserve invitations. Let everyone know that this first birthday party is a special affair by sending a nice invitation as far in advance as possible. You may write out traditional invitations and mail them, create an e-mail invitation or do a combination of both.
This checklist is obviously basic and includes only the most essential elements of a party. Brainstorm with friends and relatives to come up with items more specific to your situation and circumstances.