Minimalist Birthday Ideas

Post by: Kelly

After a few months of hiatus, I am back, and as always, with a child with a January birthday….. right on the heels of Christmas … it’s time to research and plan an inexpensive January birthday.   Since her birthday isn’t in December 2012, (which, since the world is coming to an end then, I would be off the hook, right?) but is in  January 2012, I have to come up with some really cool but cheap birthday ideas.

Here are some ways I plan to do it:

  1. Have the party @ home
  2. Bake and decorate the cake myself
  3. Make the frosting
  4. Think of  eco-friendly decorations
  5. Self-design our own invitations/ thank you cards,  or reuse some we have
  6. Purchase only 1 birthday present

First,  I will have the party at home. Here are some suggestions on what I did

  • Straighten up the house. Don’t clean until after the party, ! Yes, you heard me. It took me a way too many years to figure this out.
  •  Remove anything you think might get broken with a group of children around.
  • Keep the list short. Gone are those days of inviting 20 people, so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. A handful of great friends will be the focus, rather than acquaintances.
  • Bake the cake, or make the cupcakes. A cake mix is a buck, rather than the $15-20 it would cost to have it done. (Even with making the frosting myself, it is still cheaper.)  Oh, and I probably already have the ingredients, and could even do that part without purchasing the mix! (Ohh, and I could save myself a dollar! Woo hoo!)  Using parchment paper makes the pan easier to clean, by the way.
  • Making the frosting is easy, just butter and confectioners sugar and vanilla-done. The time-consuming part is beating it with the beaters which takes about 5 minutes.
  • For decorating the top of the cake, I will use food coloring and sugar, my child wants cupcakes, but if she wants a cake,  my idea is to use a pic of her favorite band, and go to Baskin Robbins, and ask them to print the picture on sugar paper. That will cost about $5. Then I can put that on the top of the cake and frost around it. If you decide to use this idea, be certain to call around about a week ahead to make sure they will do this in your area. Anyone that does birthday cakes could do this, try grocery stores, TCBY, Dairy Queen, and Baskin Robbins as  possibilities.
  • Decorations. For the all ages, let your child decorate with some paper and make posters. It gives he or she some tangible way to be involved! I let mine help with making the frosting and the cake if she chooses.
  • Invitations/Thanks you notes  . I have a thousand note cards already, and stickers, since I scrapbook. So… I am going to let my child design her own birthday invitations, and with a handful of five friends, that’s .44 cents X 5, and a trip to the post office to buy the stamps.  Yes, we could send emails, or texts, but to us, that is a bit too impersonal.  As far as thank you notes, yes,  she will write them. If your child is in 1st grade up, I think that is doable with a bit of help, if younger, you can help and let he/she sign her name or add a picture.  And again, we will use the note cards we  already have.
  • When you make the frosting or the cake, remember it is possible to do that a day ahead if you are that organized. Just sayin’ it is POSSIBLE, even if I usually don’t.
  • Buy only 1 present for your child.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t you agree,  so remember your child will not die if she or he only receives 1 present!  And if your child murmurs,   and if this applies, remind her/him  he or she  just had a Christmas, or Hanukkah holiday, hello!  And it is highly likely she/he will receive a gift from at least one of  the friends who come to the party. And by present,  I mean anything from a night together, with undivided attention, to an item she/he really wants, ex. an iTunes card, etc.  Oh, and don’t forget if something comes in that it’s okay to encourage something to go out.

That’s my thoughts for now, I have gotta go do some planning! I will let you know how it goes!

Happy Thoughts!

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