Party planner.

January is birthday month around here, for two small and one big. Shortly after the Christmas decorations get packed away, the sleep countdown begins for the small people, and I switch to birthday party planning mode.

As is often the case though, I soon realise that my usual way is no longer the usual way.

The process starts off easily enough. I vow to keep things simple, and start writing lists. First up is the guest list. But then I find myself torn between adopting the Norwegian invite everyone approach and the Swiss invite one child per year of age rule. I set out not wanting to exclude anyone, before looking around our apartment and musing over inclusion versus practicality.

Kids’ parties seem to be fairly standard in the noise and movement they generate. But I still have to be on the lookout for clues. When we had our first party in Switzerland, we put the gifts to one side, Sydney style, ready to open after everyone had left. But as the designated home time got closer, everyone started glancing at their watches, and then at the presents. We found out just in time that, at Swiss parties, the presents get hidden, and then, when they’ve all been found, the kids play spin the bottle to decide which order to open them. This was a lot of fun, and even though we’ll be living in a different country for the next round of birthdays, we’ll try and take that tradition with us.

I seem to have found my way with the food at least, I wrote about that for Mothering matters: Party time

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