Saturday, February 27, 2016
Week 8 - My Birthday!
Yesterday was my birthday and so I decided to host a theme party. It turns out that February 26th is World Pistachio Day which is a perfect theme for a nutty person like me! I love the creativity involved in trying to come up with decorations, food, costumes, crafts, words, and games related to a theme. Pistachios turned out to be an excellent theme for this time of year because there's a lot of green stuff out in party stores for St. Patrick's Day and kind of that Pistachio-green pastel colored Easter eggs that do resemble pistachio nuts! I even found these great plastic green egg containers at Dollar Tree (my favorite party store!) that were excellent for serving nuts or other party food.
There are also recipes, both savory and sweet, that feature pistachio nuts. Thanks to Pinterest it was easy to get plenty of ideas both in the food and craft department. The easiest cake to make was something I didn't even have a recipe for, and I'm proud of myself for coming up with it. I just made a white cake using a cake mix, but kept about a 3rd of the batter out and added some pistachio pudding mix. Then I folded that into the cake and frosting to give it a little bit of that marbleized affect and pistachio flavor.
I also hid little packets of pistachio nuts around the house for an easy decorating idea and something guests could find and bring home at the end of the night.. Yeah, maybe more appropriate for a kid party, but I have to admit, I still enjoy kid games like that, despite my ever-increasing age.
One of the favorite parts of having a theme party for me is when my friends creatively participate.
Chris, an Ohio State Buckeye's Fan, was dressed creatively in pistachio green, along with a green beard, and buckeyes liberally placed on his costume. His motto was, "Pistachio's are cool, but Buckeyes rule." He also made some of the peanut-butter chocolate buckeye treats to share, some laced with chopped pistachios.
Heather came prepared in her pistachio-green attire (she researched to make sure she was wearing the exact right shade of green) with a mustachio and plenty of mustachio props for the "peanut gallery" to play along. (I stole the "peanut gallery" pun from party guest, Chip!)
Friends brought all kinds of pistachio-adorned dishes to share. Many of the cards I received were so perfect for pistachio-day. I even got some remote participants, including the picture I included on this post from my sister.
Pistachio parties are perfect for a "roast" and I had planned to do some kind of "reverse roast," telling a story about each guest, but I settled on a kind of a party game that really had nothing to do with nuts. I had a list of things that I'd done with friends like "Played ping-pong with this person," "Ran through mud with this person," etc. and the idea was to match up the list with party guests. As it turns out, I made it too difficult because all the guests had done multiple things with me, so I'm going to refine that game for my next party.
Though I'm usually stressed about hosting a party - I'm worried about people not showing up or having a bad time or thinking my little activities are childish - I have come away from this party recognizing a lot of things..
* I have a lot of friends who I'm so grateful for. Whether they want to "play" at my theme parties or not, they accept my silliness. And, luckily, enough play along that I'm having fun, which is really more important than having everyone participate.
* I'm so lucky to have a talented daughter who lives nearby and is my theme party hero! She's so talented with food art, creativity, and decorating, and she's always a big help and support to me, no matter what I try. I love that, despite her youth compared to all the other party-goers, she brings her family and participates in my games when she can.
* I'm grateful for all the people who helped both before and after the party, brought food and wine, flowers, cards, gifts, and themselves. I'm especially grateful for Sue, who, despite recent surgery, came early on party day to help me with preparations.
* There are a lot of friends who can't come to my parties for a lot of other reasons - It has nothing to do with how much they "like" me. I'm planning to get together with many of them one-on-one in the coming weeks which is often even better than a party because I get to spend quality time with them.
* Though I always consider my parties "open" if everyone showed up, I wouldn't have nearly enough room. It's fine and makes me happy to have all the birthday greetings on Facebook and that makes for a fun virtual party.
All-in-all, I realize, once again, on this day-after-my-birthday how blessed I am for all the love I have in my life.