Although I love hosting parties, our < 1,000 square foot, single bathroomed house just doesn't lend itself well to holding lots of people. And no, the 'I' in that last sentence should not have been a 'we'. Husband and 6 y.o., while both being fun-loving, happy, friendly guys, do not much care for large social gatherings. Therefore, most of our holiday and family get-togethers are hosted by others.
Since it is usually only once a year that I get to throw a party, I tend to want to cram in everything I can think of to make it fabulous. One year, I made and hung a photo backdrop and provided patriotic-themed props for pictures.
|He must love me a lot.|
I love cooking and baking, and I think red, white and blue are fun colors for themed food and drinks. Especially in the Summer, when strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, raspberries, marshmallows, whipped cream, and cherries are abundant. Two years ago, I served red, white and blue adult sno-cones. Yes, they turned into super-sweet purple vodka drinks with tiny chunks of ice, but they started out pretty!
Last year, the specialty drink served was a watermelon margarita, made with homemade watermelon syrup, smooth silver tequila, sweet-n-sour mix and fresh lime juice. This year's concoction was simpler. I added pureed fresh strawberries to lemonade, and set a bottle of citrus vodka next to the dispenser for
|Happy Birthday USA cake. And, a light saber.|
The big fireworks show doesn't start until after 9:00 p.m., so we find other ways to keep ourselves and our guests busy.
|Sparklers and grocery store fireworks|
This year, I hung an un-labeled U.S. map on the wall, with States and Capitals stickers that could be re-positioned. Teams of 3 people had 1 minute, then 30 seconds, then 10 seconds to get as many stickers as possible into the right spots. It wasn't a very popular game. But, when nobody was playing, I was able to get all the capitals into the right spots, without the names of the states on the map, and only needed a tiny bit of help from my dad (I always think Wisconsin is Minnesota. Not that it matters, much. Other than that day, I don't think I've ever needed to know which one is which.)
Choosing a special dress for Baby has been fun the past 2 years, also.
It's the only night of the year that we allow 6 y.o. to stay up way past his 7:30 bedtime. Last year, he started crying as soon as the fireworks show ended, and couldn't stop crying or get any words out. This year, he handled himself a little bit better, but still seemed totally dazed by about 8:45.
Turns out, I do a bad job of taking pictures of the actual fireworks. 4 years of bombs bursting in air, and I could only find the one half-decent pic up there ^. You'll have to trust me that it's a good show. Even Baby enjoyed it! She doesn't like loud noises ("Sorry, Husband. I just couldn't vacuum today. Baby didn't want me to. She was scared of the 'wowed'.") so we were worried that she'd cry like her brother after 9 p.m., but she didn't shed a single tear.
|Just in case there was any doubt re: my photography skills.|
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Be honest- at least a little part of you is wondering about my marathon training, right? You kinda wish this post had been about running, don't you?