Planning a First Birthday Party – BP #67


It seems like yesterday that I announced the birth of my daughter, Catherine. In less than two weeks, she’ll be turning one year old. I’ve given a bit of thought as to what would be nice for her first birthday. First of all, I booked the day off. I’ve never booked a day off for a birthday before, including my own, because they’re just not that important or special to me. But Cat’s first birthday is a different situation.

I never planned on throwing a ‘party’ per se. Recently, however, a good friend of mine spent hundreds of dollars on her child’s first birthday (e.g. renting a hall, getting the event catered, and buying party favours). I helped her carry $70 in purchases from the dollar store during lunch one day. So I reconsidered my position.

I suspect Cat will be really “into” Disney princesses (particularly given her enjoyment of Sleeping Beauty). This gave me an idea for a theme.

busy watching Sleeping Beauty

I think she’d love this pinata. Which is kind of weird, because Cat doesn’t eat candy. Does anybody have good ideas about pinata candy that a baby could enjoy? My only idea (rice crackers) is boring.


Thanks to capitalism, there are other branded products with themes that match the pinata.

I doubt we'll buy these

For a present, I am strongly leaning toward “Disneyland Adventures”. It’s an Xbox game that uses Kinect (no controller necessary).

Disneyland Adventures Kinect - possible bday present

Cat is too young to use it on her own right now, but she might enjoy me playing the game with (for) her. I shouldn’t underestimate her ability to interact with electronics, however, because she’s a smart baby. She already figured out how to scroll through pictures on the BlackBerry 9900 and she stops and smiles at pictures of herself. Extremely cute. Speaking of which:


Cat on the swing  Cat on the swing Cat on the swing  Cat on the swing Cat on the swing   Cat on the swing



As a result of various pressures and commitments, I am going to scale back the blog’s posting schedule. Cat is almost a year (as noted today), and while I’ve enjoyed sharing the world’s most beautiful little girl with TiFi readers, it may be time to end this Friday feature.

I’m planning to move TiFi to a 3-day posting schedule, a la Boomer & Echo: a post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Likely to be me on Monday, Adina on Wednesday, and Sara on Friday.

Quality guest posts are, as always, welcomed — I particularly love when regular visitors become passionate about a topic and want to share their knowledge, e.g. VI’s excellent series on Bitcoin that ended yesterday. I will continue to provide revisions that display your stories faithfully and in the best light, and most likely slot them into a Tuesday or Thursday.

I’m sincerely sorry to anybody disappointed by this move. My decision has nothing to do with a lack of visitorship or engagement; TF has awesome readers. The reality is that time is just a limited resource.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

17 Comments… Share your views

  1. We spent about $100 or so on our son’s first birthday. Keep in mind, it’s something that the kid is unlikely to remember, so it’s mostly for your own satisfaction (or, in my case, my in-laws’). I found that the key to keeping costs low was to set it for an afternoon, and keep it to 2-3 hours max. That way, people don’t come expecting to be fed a full meal or booze. Snacks and pop (and ice cream cake – there has to be ice cream cake!) and Walmart decorations (they also have party favours if you’re having other kids there) are not going to set you back a lot.

    I’d rather save my money for a few years down the line, when my son will start having actual preferences, both as to the party itself, as well as the invitees, the presents, etc. It will be much harder to be frugal then, unless we develop a stronger resistance to his “mummy, please” face.

  2. I can’t believe she is already a year old! Next thing you know we will all be middle aged and she’ll be a smart mouthed teen. Shudder! Lol. You could do a six month photo update for all the cute pic junkies out there.

    Could you put something like individually wrapped cookies in the piñata? They would probably get broken up when she hits it, but what baby cares if their cookie crumbles?

  3. Happy Birthday to Cat! I completely understand your scaling back. I have partially because I can’t come up with enough content to write about. Don’t force it!

    • Thanks :) Yes, I get the feeling I’m going to be able to pick more “cream of the crop” ideas doing one post a week and spend more time fleshing it out. You’re posting less but your posts are always awesome.

  4. One year already? Wow, congrats! That reminds me, our youngest turns 1 next month. We’ll have to make our own trip to the Dollar Store.

    We just had friends and family over when my oldest turned 1. My wife made a cake and we all gushed over the birthday girl in her party dress. And that was it. No need to rent a hall or anything fancy – it’s not her wedding!

    The three day a week posting schedule is inevitable for most bloggers. You just can’t keep up the pace. My mom and I were able to write 5 days a week for about 18 months before we switched to MWF and then brought Andrew on-board to contribute bi-weekly.

    We got a bit of feedback from our readers, most of whom subscribe via email, that 5 days a week was too much. If our readers were burned out, and we were getting burned out, then it only made sense to reduce the posting frequency.

    You’ve got a great line-up of writers here and I’m sure you’ll keep up the excellent quality of work.

    • Thanks Robb and congrats to you, too. I feel like it was last week we were tweeting congrats about the babies. One big reason I started TF was to make sure Cat would know what kind of person her Dad was, even if I died young or something. I think at this point there’s enough reading material lol

      I “get” the burn-out thing and it’s reassuring to hear it from you. When I was off on parental leave, the time was always there. Nowadays, even working on the train, I’ve been leaving too much to the weekend. I’m hoping to have guest posts to fill the occasional Tuesday or Thursday, because I know all three of us want to have a weekly sounding post for our ideas.

      I’m hoping the change here works out as positively as at B&E. You already know, but I greatly admire your site for its quality. And thanks for the compliment, Adina and Sara are the best for sure!

  5. In order to lead by example and be a beacon to the world under the aegis of “Never be Money-stupid”, why not take advantage of the season’s bounty and just give her a bouqet of dandelions and/or teach her how to make dandelion bracelets and necklaces?

    (idea stolen from a CBC program heard today about a family tradition of dandelion bouquets for mothers from their children on Mother’s Day )

  6. Congratulations to Cat on her first birthday…I didn’t realize it was SO soon!!! Query – does the pinata HAVE to contain candy? I realize it might be a tradition, but is that a North American tradition? Is there something else it can contain? It would have to be something small, fun, an item kids that age would really like a lot, and wouldn’t whack them too hard on the heads when it falls out of the pinata. I was sort of thinking about things like tiny containers of playdoh or something, except those are hard. Hope its a great party!

  7. Thank-you for sharing, I think you have made a wise decision. Thank-you for the pictures of beautiful and sweet Catherine!!

  8. Congrats on the first birthday! It’s hard to find something good to put in a pinata like that.. the best thing I can think of would be pieces of fruit and that wouldn’t work so well unless you did the whole thing very fast.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.