Party Planning…The good, the bad and the ugly!

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Parties……..People seem to think that because I am an professional organizer, I automatically organize parties.  Nope!  This is a stress I love to live without at this stage of my life.  Sad I know, because when I throw myself into party planning mode, it can be a lot of fun.  However, it is all consuming, I fret about all the little details, I don’t relax because many other things get put on the back burner which really shouldn’t.  Sometimes I can’t wait for it to be over so that I can relax and get going with what really needs to get done in everyday life!!!  Am I crazy?  YES I AM! This is life!  This is what is important, getting together with friends and family is just one of our rewards for working hard. Maybe I should consider hiring an event planner, after all my reasons to avoid planning parties are the driving force for event planners.  My problem with this though is that I am a control freak and the event planner would probably fire me.

I think my daughter will end up being the party planner-decorating diva of the family.  She keeps me on my toes.  This year I was really not up to taking out all the Halloween decorations putting them up etc.  She hounded me, it worked  and so I put them up, after all it’s fun for them and they are only young like this once.  After I put up the fall garland with the orange lights, I started to get into the mood….hmmmm….. I started to feel good about it instead of feeling that Halloween was getting in the way of everything I wanted to accomplish this year!  Now we have taken down the decorations and I have to admit I was feeling the same about putting up the Christmas decorations but I may just have to take on the ‘fake it until I make it’ attitude.

We have a cottage that we normally spend Christmas at, but with the amount of work I am involved with right now I was thinking that we should just decorate one place……which one?  Then Jon and Greg, my two older boys, will be spending Christmas with us but not the whole holiday since they have to work, will be at a house with no decorations.  So instead of spending too much time thinking about it, I will just do it, yup both places, but not as much as I normally do…We’ll see if my daughter lets me get away with that!  It is all my fault after all, I set the standard; apparently my brother likened me to Martha Stewart on crack a couple of years back, but I was a little more intense since we were having more visitors than usual and I wanted my new little niece to have a great Christmas with us, the music the lights, the tree, skating on the lake, tobogganing, hot chocolate, hot spicy apple cider….you know the drill……the Norman Rockwell experience! Ok I really do love it…so up go ALL the decorations!

For my daughter’s birthday last year we threw a big Halloween Party.  Fog, light show, creepy decorations that would freak any 10-11 year old.  We had quite the buffet, frozen ice hands in the punch, carrot fingers in the dip, gummies worms in mud (chocolate pudding), you know the typical party fare!  I dressed up as the fortune teller and had parents tell me something that the kids wanted or wanted to be so that their fortune telling experience would make their night.  I was so busy with getting everything ready and looking after the actual party that I didn’t realize I would hardly have time to tell their fortunes…… then the power went out!  Perfect!….no really perfect, they thought it was all planned, we lit candles and the place looked even creepier.  Imagine this, the music is blaring in the basement, there are about 20 girls, then boom, powers out, they are all in the dark!  The screaming that came from downstairs shook the house, but it was a perfect lead in to my future profession as a professional fortune telling guru………yes clearly I got some of the kids info wrong, but that didn’t matter they were all having fun.  The power came back on and they went back to the dancing and singing.

After this successful party, I told Rachelle that next year (now this year) it will be a quiet birthday, just a couple of friends maybe a movie that’s it.  Now we are a year later and guess what!  She says she can’t have a small get together and that she has already set the precedent! Oh boy……time to nip this one!  Wow my kids know how to work me!  So I agreed to a small sleepover with 4 girls, we can rent a movie, tackle the tickle trunk with all the dress up clothes (still fun at any age as I recently found out), then we’ll make a nice big breakfast and the parents will come around 11 am the next morning to pick the girls up; and its done, the only planning would be the pizza, cake, and breakfast…….why do I have a feeling it might be more work than the big Halloween party or the disco party I threw for her the year before that!  I’ll get back to you on that.

I will have to check out More Time Moms online since they have just come out with a party line to make things easier for us moms … just wish they came out with this when MY kids were much younger! I could have saved myself a lot of time by just going to their site and ordering a theme package like the pirate or the fairy theme, then adding the different elements to the order.  Often I am looking for good thank you notes and now MTM includes them with the invitations pack!  Brilliant.    Anything to make life easier so us moms can have a great time at the parties too!

Gayle Fransham


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