Saint Patty’s Party

Come To My Birthday Party

Come To My Birthday Party

In the last few years, someone has sent me this adorable little vintage party planning book– no, not for planning vintage parties, although it could work, the book *itself* is vintage from 1969, and about party planning.  I really need to work on being clearer.  I also need to work on being clearer-headed, because for the life of me, I cannot remember which dear friend sent me this cuteness.  I want to say it was Eartha, Katrina, or Rosy, but the truth is, I have been so blessed by generous friends that I sometimes lose what came from whom and when…. this is one of those cases, and I feel a little bad about it.  (If it was you, speak up!  I’ll apologize proper!)

The cover on this one alone is so delightful…  This is back when they called them “party dresses” for a reason!  We’ve got girlies in conical hats with paper poufs, boys in ties and seersucker jackets, and clean white socks all around.  I am also loving that knotty pine den, with its deep window with storage underneath, and adorable scalloped shades with ball fringe… and note how the bookcase has a matching topper!  And I love how the girl playing “Pin the Tail on the (very sad-looking) Donkey” is missing the poster altogether and pinning into the shelves.  All this attention to detail makes me wonder if this watercolor artist copied a real scene or photograph… wouldn’t you pay real money to spend an afternoon watching a slide show or film about this party?  I know I would!

I’ve decided to share some of the party plans from this really sweet book with ya’ll, one at a time.  There are actually some very cute and thrifty decor and supply ideas throughout this volume, and I really just love anything that will allow me to stretch the vintage look of my holiday displays.  Plus, there are lots of great party game ideas, which is an area that can make or break a modern kiddo event.  I know that the activities I plan for Fox’s parties are always a big hit, and they give you some moments to remember when the whole group was celebrating together.  (I say this because a lot of partying is simply playing, and if I don’t supply structured events the whole party passes with kids playing one-on-one the entire time.  Which is fine.  Its just not… special.  It’s a party!  Games make it eventful!)

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day

First up, St. Patrick’s Day!  The intro reads, “‘The luck o’ the Irish goes with any birthday party with a St. Paddy’s theme.  This birthday party is easy with just enough ‘make it yourself’ projects to make a very special ‘do’ for the birthday child.’  Mrs Jeanne Welch, 5 year olds.”  Well, I don’t know if five-year-olds can truly *appreciate* everything about a St Patty’s party, but at least we’re starting them early?  I think a lot of this theme would be lost on my 6 year old, but maybe that has more to do with modern times being what they are, rather than age group?  I dunno.  But, I press onward!

Invitation Idea

Invitation Idea

(If you cannot quite see the text in any of these pics, clicking on them twice– until they are simply enlarged on a black background– should make them big enough to allow you to read.)

Invitations

Mrs Welch suggests cutting your own shamrock-shaped invites from green construction paper and edging them in golden glitter.  She says, “White ink makes the invitation look very special.”  Good tip, I bet that *does* look good!

Decorations

“We try to decorate the party room and the table with green, white, and gold crepe paper, twisted into streamers.  And for good measure– green and white balloons.  (To a 5 year-old a party just isn’t much of anything without a balloon to take home.)  We tie ours in a bunch and give them to the children as they leave the party.  Otherwise, you’ re in for a lot of tears and confusion if you give them away too soon.”  This Mrs Welsh sounds like a modern-day blogger, doesn’t she?  And I *totally* agree about the balloon thing, they are a touch that makes a party, but if you include them you MUST have enough for every child at the event.  They are too tempting to kiddos to be just left up as decor!

Place Settings

Place Settings

I also love what she says about decorating the place settings, “Use left-over paper from the invitations to cut small shamrocks for the cups and candy cups if you like.”  I really like the idea of using the scraps.  And those candy cups are such a *now* thing, I love seeing ideas for dressing them up in a vintage book… makes me want to go search etsy for a stack of adorable lime green dotty ones!

“Blarney stone place markers are really different.  We gathered small flat rocks which we paint white, add gold glitter before the paint dries.”  This corresponding image cracks me up… do ya’ll know any five-year-olds named “Bob?”  Both of my neighbors have that name, and they are mature men in their 60s.  (I wonder if 40 years into the future there will be moms looking at similar ‘old’ party planning materials and thinking “Jayden is such a classic name!”)

“If the group is small, it’s fun to get a snapshot of each guest from his parents well in advance.  Attach it to a paper shamrock and tie it to the stone.”  Ooh!  This tip would be really easy nowadays, with the ability to snap a pic and whisk it off to a friend via email, and then, voila, magically size it and print it out.  Its especially a good idea if you really are planning this event for a bunch of kindergarteners, because identifying the pic of themselves is a good guide for those wee ones that cannot yet read their name.

The last idea she gives under decorations (which in my mind, really belongs in the category of ‘Favors’ but the book doesn’t use that as a category, so I’ll roll with it) is a great one.  She says, “By each place setting, place a little Irish pipe and a bottle of bubble blowing liquid.”  I don’t know about you guys, but bubbles are a MUST for the favors at our parties, especially since my husband is a giant bubble master.  I like the idea of supplying a little leprechaun-like pipe for a twist on the expected.

Kiss The Blarney Stone

Kiss The Blarney Stone

Activities

Or as my kiddo used to say, “Nacktibidees.”

Mrs Welsh says, “The party starts with a story about Irish customs and rules, which gives the children an appreciation of the party theme and the games that follow.”  I dunno about that, but its good of you to try, Miss Jeanne.  It may be tough corralling 15 party-hyped Kindergarteners for a history lesson.

For the first game, she suggests, “Kiss the Blarney Stone,” a simple variation of Pin the Tail, involving a map of Ireland with an added Blarney stone, and paper kisses to pin on.  Pretty cute, and it doesn’t sound overly difficult.

One-Potato, Two Potato

One-Potato, Two Potato

Next, she suggests One-Potato, Two-Potato, another childhood classic, saying its “a natural choice for the Irish.”  Nothings more partytime-fun than reminding those Irish about that cute potato famine, amirite?  Hunh?  All jokes aside, this was written prior to our culture of never offending anybody, ever.  Which– don’t get me wrong– I really do ascribe to, I don’t think racism for the sake of humor is funny at all… but I don’t know that I would call connecting potatoes with the Irish “racism” either.  Fine line.  You decide.

If I were to do this one, I would likely place the Birthday child in the center, and opt to use chocolate coins instead of actual money.  And just for good measure I’d make sure those shamrock-bedecked candy cups had some extras of those same coins.  In using this same theme, you could also play Hot Potato, with an actual potato.   She also suggests that if weather permits, you take the activities out back with a treasure hunt, and a “St Paddy’s Day Parade” where the children bang on pots and pans with spoons and the like.  You may want to warn the neighbors first!

Cake and Ice Cream

Cake and Ice Cream

Refreshments

I am a weirdo, and I like to serve a meal at my son’s parties.  This is mainly because our friends are the parents of many of his friends, and we want everybody to stay and hang out and be happy for a long afternoon.  If you hope for a shorter party, I would suggest something along the lines of a big bowl of a salty snack (pretzels?) and cake and ice cream.

Mrs Welch seems to be of the second sort, she likes them short and sweet!  She suggests white cake decorated with a hodgepodge of vaguely St Patty’s embellishments.  (I dunno, I would imagine decorating a St Patrick’s cake with similar Wilton-issue decor would not be difficult to do this day in age.)  She also says, “Small children love ice cream cones, so I scoop lime sherbet into the cones and make a leprechaun face with small gumdrops.”  This is, at its essence, a good idea, BUT– Have you ever tried to assemble a treat like this in the midst of a party?  Its HARD.  Now let’s envision that thing you’re assembling is melting.  Ooh, its enough to make me hate this idea.  Tsk, tsk, I’m disappointed in you, Jeanne.

I like the idea, but its a sure-fire way to make for a frustrated Mommy in the kitchen while everyone else is off partying their tiny butts off.  Instead, I would consider altering it, using this as the basis of my variation– http://img4-3.realsimple.timeinc.net/images/work-life/family/0613/scoop-icecream_300.jpg  Real Simple suggests scooping your ice cream (or in this case, sherbet) in your pre-party time.  You could do this into green-lined muffin pan cups and pop them into the freezer to re-solidify before attempting to decorate the faces with candies and whatnots.  And what if you put the cones *on top* of the scoops, and pretended that they were Leprechaun hats?  Kids can still flip them and eat them as cones, but you get the added bonus of incorporating the theme one more time.

Her last suggestion for refreshments is a good one, “Punch for this party is made with lemon punch mix (Ed’s note– I assume she means like Country Time or Kool-aid?) with lemon soda, and lime punch ice cubes for color.”  Sounds fun!  (And sweet.)  I bet shamrock-shaped silicon cube trays would be easy to come by for fairly cheap at this time of year.  I haven’t checked the party stock at the dollar store or in the Target $1 spot, but both of those seem likely sources for something like that.

All in all, it sounds like Mrs Welch puts on a pretty great party!  I’d love to see any of these party ideas put into motion, please let me know if you use any of these fun tips!  I wanna see!

 

 


 


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