Some of you know that I've been fantasizing about my toddler's luau birthday party (no, I'm not up for a "Cinderella birthday" just yet!) next month. It's sustained me through the Indiana winter. And this month is another family event, celebrating a religious milestone for my son as well as three family birthdays that coincide around Memorial Day weekend.
The shopping lists and menu planning have already begun. And I'll be honest in that the prospect of a tall stack of dishes doesn't appeal, and I'm looking at ways to shortcut without generating bags upon bags of trash, or for that matter, huge expenses.
But it's a strange coincidence that I stumbled onto two other bloggers who were discussing the greenness of their family celebrations: Crunchy Chicken and Surely You Nest.
These women went far beyond the call of duty with the greening of their springtime celebrations, including such easily stolen ideas as:
For the kids:
- Skipping juice boxes in favor of a larger pitcher or cooler of a beverage
- Making homemade items for the party
- A book swap instead of presents or party favor bags
For the whole family:
- Using assorted paper goods and plastic utensils from previous celebrations
- Reusing containers - even as simple as baby food jars - as needed for decoration and storage
- Going homemade and actually baking a cake instead of coughing up the ransom at the local bakery. (Me, I'm considering a basic white cake with edible flowers on the luau cake.)
It reinforces what I've thought about with my upcoming celebrations: Keep it simple. For each, we're having an outdoor cookout (still on the fence as whether to rent a park shelter). For the luau, we'll kick it up a little with a little Jimmy Buffet and some luaus, grass skirts or visors they can make and wear while they have a splash party in a sprinkler in the backyard. As Surely You Nest writes:
Other ideas on keeping your celebrations simple, fun but safe for the enviroment?
All in all, the lesson was simple. Kids have fun easily. They don't need much
to enjoy one another's company.