It all sounds good in theory

I spent the past two weeks preparing for a Halloween party for my grandchildren. It was going to be our first “real” holiday party, and I wanted it to be special.  I threw parties for my kids all the time when they were little. But this time was different. This time I had the internet to help, and I turned to Facebook and Pinterest for ideas about how I could make this the best Halloween party ever.table2

I printed off recipes and photos of all the cool things I wanted to do. I bought all the necessary ingredients and props, and I worked diligently to make sure it went off without a hitch.

But as we wanna-be perfectionists already know, it all sounds good in theory.

I imagined that everything would go as planned; the food would be perfect, the decorations, the music, and the activities would run themselves. But with 6 energetic children ranging from 5-11 years old running around, each going their own way, it was chaos.spider-cookies

After years of trying to throw the perfect party, I should have know better. And even with my party planner in hand, there were still a few mishaps. (For those who do party planning for a living, I salute you!)

The cake balls turned to mush, because I added too much frosting (and you can’t “Undo” something like that.) The spiders on the cookies didn’t get their legs piped on, because I ran out of time. And the “Pop the Pumpkin” game was scrubbed because I couldn’t get it stuck to the wall.(It was difficult to make,anyway.) And I forgot all about “Stick the Spider on the Web” game until after the party was over.popcorn

The banana ghosts and apple mouths were okay, but didn’t turn out like the picture. I scurried to get the mummy hotdogs out of the oven and get the meat eyeballs in before the guests started to arrive. Lack of time became an issue, and I found myself getting stressed out.

Next year I will take an entire day to get ready, instead of just a few hours.

So why was this party important to me? For the same reason I had a lot of parties for my kids when they were little. Kids aren’t little for very long, but these memories will last a lifetime.

I still hear from my adult children, “Remember when …?” And the smiles and laughter that follow tells me I did a good thing.

And when Lori laughed and asked me if I had ever seen the pictures of “Pinterest Fails,” I smiled, because I knew it was true. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. Otherwise, it’s no fun.

The ruined cake pops and the other mishaps didn’t matter. No one ever knew I had forgotten a few things and there was plenty to eat and everyone had a lot of fun.

I created a good memory for my grandchildren. They know I’m not perfect but love me anyway. I can’t ask for much more than that.

“Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.”

Let’s make ‘Yea Day’ a national holiday

I was watching my grandchildren the other day when my granddaughter, Lily, turned to me and said, “Know what, Grandma? I think we should have a Yea Day.”party

“Really?” I asked. “What do you do on Yea Day?”

“We exchange presents, eat cake, and everyone is nice to everyone else,” she said. It was obvious that she had been thinking about it quite a while.

“I see,” I said, intrigued with how she came up with such a great idea. “So, does everyone get presents?”

She nodded enthusiastically, with a grin. “Yep, and everyone plays games and is just, well … nice.”

“I love that idea!” I told her, as we pulled into the driveway.

“So when should we have it?” she asked.

“Have what?”

“Yea Day,” Lily said, almost with impatience. “Grandma, were you even listening to me?”

I laughed to myself. “Of course I was, Lily. When do you think we should have it?”

“Well ….” she started. I could tell she was really thinking about it. “How about Sunday?”

“Maybe we should have it when it warms up so we can go outside and play,” I suggested.

“Oh! How about on your birthday?” she blurted out.

“But then it wouldn’t be special,” I said, looking at the calendar. “April 19 is a Sunday. Why don’t we have it then?”

Her eyes lit up, as if I had just given her the best present in the world.

“Oh, Grandma! That sounds perfect!”

So from now on, April 19 will be Yea Day, the day when everyone is nice to everyone else, and we have cake and have fun, and play games. Maybe it will never be a national holiday, but I guarantee it will become a family tradition.