Party planning can be nice and simple

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My eldest daughter Caitlin will be celebrating her third birthday on August 13.

So as she begins her fourth year on the planet, we’re organising something I’m starting to dread – a party.

It’s not just the party itself that I’m nervous about but all the preparation.

I did an internet search to find out where to start and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

There’s so much to think about. According to one website, the planning should start six to eight weeks before the big day.

Well I’ve already fallen at the first hurdle. But surely it can’t be that difficult? It’s not like I’m organising a wedding, it’s just a nice little party with some fun and games for Caitlin and her friends.  

Apparently these days, even nice little parties require some serious thought.

So I printed off a checklist from this website. And first thing to decide was a theme for the party.

Come on, this is a party for a three-year-old and I don’t think other parents will be happy with having to fork out for some wacky fancy dress outfit that will only be worn once.

So I’ve decided, no theme.

Next on the list is what sort of entertainer to hire.

Well I think games like pass the parcel and musical statues will be sufficient to keep everyone entertained so I have no need to reach for the Yellow Pages.

Then we have to decide on the food. I know the sort of party food Caitlin will like. Pizza, fairy cakes, crisps etc.

But what about the other kids? What if there are some fussy eaters. Well, it’s Caitlin’s party, so they’ll have to eat what they are given.

Who needs a caterer, as suggested on this list, when a visit to the supermarket to buy some large economy packs of party food will do just fine?

Then we move onto decorations. Apparently the days are over when a few balloons could be hung on the walls with some sticky tape.

Now it’s all about streamers, confetti, banners, hats and masks.

Sounds a bit expensive to me. Maybe I could actually have a theme: the 1980s, when just balloons on a wall would do.

Then there is the unnecessary party invitations. Surely a text message to the parents would be okay?

The most important part of the preparation is sorting out the birthday cake.

Not only does it have to look impressive and be tasty, but it has to be big enough for everyone to get a piece.

Time to get the flour and eggs out of the cupboard.

The final note on the checklist is to sit back and enjoy yourself. With children running around hyper on sweets and cakes, I have a feeling that is not going to happen.