Palmetto Parent 2010 July issue : Page 9

Want more ideas? For party theme and cake ideas, visit these websites: n n n Throwing a birthday party need not break the bank. And although it may require extra work, a memorable party can be designed to match almost any childhood interest without causing budgetary havoc, whether it’s a party with a movie theme (left), popcorn birthday cake included, or a train themed party (above), complete with a cake with tracks around the edge. Twins Grace and Will Kepley (below) recently enjoyed a farm-themed second birthday party complete with a hayride. “Daniel had the big party this year and Joshua is having a family party,” Miller said. Joshua chose the theme for his party — bugs — and Miller was happy to oblige. “We are going to have a hot dog roast and make s’mores and trek through the woods,” she said. The party will take place at Miller’s Co- lumbia home and will include a homemade caterpillar cake and such snacks as ants on a log (raisins and peanut butter on celery) and butterflies (apple slices). Because he is having the smaller party this year, Joshua will only invite a few friends to join in the family celebration. “I used to be a teacher, so if I have a theme I can go with almost anything,” she said. “It’s amazing what you can find when you type in ‘bug birthday party.’” Miller doesn’t allow birthday parties to overshadow the lessons her family teaches the remainder of the year. “One thing we don’t do is that we don’t July 2010 give gifts to the other child,” Miller said. “This is his brother’s day and it’s about him. We are trying to keep it low key. We try very hard to steer clear of materialism.” And with many families reaching new levels of budget consciousness, some of the old notions of annual blowout celebra- tions are being overhauled. Katie Rook, manager of Be Beep,A Toy Shop, said many of her customers are opt- ing to rein in the costs of birthday parties. “They are inviting less children, not the whole class, but a few friends,”Rook said. “A lot of people are doing parties at home and trying to cut back.” Party favors and goodie bags are also being revamped by budget-conscious parents, with quality replacing quantity, according to Rook. Her customers buy fewer, nicer items rather than bags filled with cheaply made toys. Miller has made that change with her Palmetto Parent 9

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