My son celebrated his first birthday on December 27. I know as a first time mom I’m supposed to want to go all out and have a big bash for his first birthday, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I decided to save the big blow out for his second birthday. Instead we just had a little very budget friendly “Winter One-derland” get-together with our closest family members.
Instead of sending out invites through the snail-mail I decided to go the quick and cheap route with Evite.com. I created a “Winter One-derland” logo on Microsoft Publisher using clip-art that I used in the invitation as the main image. Within an hour all the invites had been sent out and were sitting in inboxes waiting for RSVPs.
Budget Friendly Tip: You don’t have to be a genius at (the expensive) Photoshop to create cute digital invitations. With just a little time and patience you can easily create one-of-a-kind invites or invite logos using Microsoft Publisher and the Paint tool found on most computers. Since it’s becoming more popular to send invitations through email don’t be afraid to use the wonderful inexpensive services of Sendomatic.com or Evite.com. Some of the most original invitations I’ve seen have been made using these websites.
I hadn’t really planned on decorating much since I wanted to keep the budget really small. I popped on over to my local Dollar Store to buy some cute snowflake paper plates my sister-in-law had found and while I was there (did I mention this was on December 26?!) I discovered ALL Christmas decorations were on sale for $0.50! I couldn’t resist the temptation, so I scooped up all the snowflake decorations I could fit in my cart. I also bought snowflake covered tablecloths and plastic cups with blue and green snowflakes similar to these found at Windy City Novelties. We didn’t have much snow on the ground, so I stuck snowflake stickers onto our door and windows.
Budget Friendly Tip: While it doesn’t get much more budget friendly than the Dollar Store, you could make the decorations yourself. It wouldn’t take much more than a stack of paper in white and blue, plus a pair of scissors to create dozens of snowflakes. Hang the snowflakes from your ceiling with “invisible” fishing line. You could also shred paper to make your very own snow piles! I’m also a huge fan of foam crafts. For a low cost and in a short amount of time I made a “Sammy’s Winter One-derland” birthday sign. I also made the birthday boy his very own party hat with foam board and stickers.
During the winter months I tend to be in the mood for foods that are hearty and remind me of being warm and cozy. For the main course I opted for Sheppard’s Pie, one of my all time favorite meals. This was an easy meal to make for a larger crowd. Plus, it would be easy for the guest of honor, who was just starting to eat “adult” foods, to chow down on. I made cupcakes for the birthday cake. I bought really cute ceramic cupcake pans at AC Moore, on sale for $5 from $20!
Budget Friendly Tip: Feeding a crowd is rarely budget friendly. However, by sticking with a simple menu you can help keep your costs down. It’s very easy to double or triple a favorite recipe of yours that you already love to make for normal family meals. If you need a little help converting your “Serves 4” recipe to “Serves 25” check out this Recipe Converter.
Since I wanted to keep things low key, I didn’t plan activities or games for the guests. We kept the event fairly short, so guests wouldn’t have time to get bored between eating and chit-chatting. The kids in attendance were kept busy with the Wii. Winter Sports 2, the Wii game, would be an excellent addition to any Winter One (or Won)-derland party.
Budget Friendly Tip: Had I chosen to have an activity for the guests, I would have saved money by combining the activity and the favor with a Make Your Own Photo Snow Globe. Oriental Trading sells snow globes kits. Instead of using the sports template included with the kit, I would have taken a picture of each guest with our birthday boy and printed them out during the party. Then each guest could insert their photo in their snow globe! Instant memories and a fun winter decoration for years to come!
For more pictures and details visit A Yummy Mummy on a Pink Park Bench.