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party plans

By Christy Breedlove

From bicycles to balloons to being a good citizen...

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seasonal ideas for birthday madness!

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It’s 30 degrees outside. The wind is whistling through the pines and the sun is a shadowy imitation of itself. The party inside your house is a rip-roaring success – a balmy 78 degrees. Laughter echoes past into the frozen tundra that was once your back yard. You, however, are turning as blue as the frozen lei around your neck, trying to steal heat from your grill as the hot dogs slowly cook. Sound familiar? You’ve succumbed to Parental Madness by Birthdays – a slow, degenerative disease that drains your common sense to the point you think it’s okay for your 16-year-old to take your 1965 Mustang for a ride around town with your credit card. The first symptom is over-organizing birthday parties. Oh, it’s insidious at first. After all, what parent doesn’t want their child to have a great birthday? But hold fast! When a trip to the Publix bakery for your child’s first birthday turns into a luau in the middle of

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Athens-Oconee Parent

December for their seventh, you need to seek immediate help! Talk to your banker. Surely, heating your house to Hawaiian standards is a drain on your finances. Talk to a close friend who doesn’t mind telling you that you’re one can short from a six-pack. You can stop this disease.There are treatments. One such treatment is to recognize that your children’s birthdays fall during one of four seasons of the year. Yes, the seasons you learned in school – fall, winter, spring and summer.Try planning seasonally appropriate parties.You can do it with these season-by-season tips.

WINTER

This is especially difficult since this means you might have a dozen or so children milling around your house, wreaking havoc upon your wedding china and sanity. If you’re unable to shell out oodles of money at a local pizza parlor, then

consider these home party alternatives. ■ Snow parties are great fun. Divide kids in groups of three and let each group “decorate a snowman.” One child in the group is wrapped with toilet paper (a la the Mummy) and use an old hat or whatever you’d use for a snowman. Serve hot chocolate with large marshmallows. Instead of cake, serve three scoops of vanilla ice cream with raisins, M&M’s,Twizzlers, etc. on the side to decorate the snowman. ■ A favorite of mine was a science party. Collect a dozen or so small items and let the kids take turns guessing what the items are from under a microscope. ■ Charity winter party. Have each child bring an extra gift for a children’s shelter. Supply the cut wrapping paper and tape. Not only does this teach children the joy of giving and service, it’s fun to watch kids wrap presents.

Athens oconee parent magazine so17