Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cheap Unbirthday Party

This Unbirthday Party is a cheap way to have a great time with family or friends. This idea originated with a phone call.
One particularly busy afternoon, my teenage sister called to see how I was doing. Grateful for a reprieve from the mounting assignments on my desk, I listened as she told me about her date with a cute young man the weekend before. After explaining all the details she said, “It was really fun, but do you know what would be the best date ever?”
“What?” I asked
“An unbirthday party,” she replied.
“A what?”
“An unbirthday party,” she repeated. “Like Alice in Wonderland. Do you remember the Mad Hatter?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “I do.”
Each person has a birthday on one of the 365 days of the year. Usually that day is spent celebrating with cake, ice cream, balloons, and games. But rarely does anyone take one of the remaining 364 days – the “unbirthdays” – and turn it into an equally happy celebration of life. 
As my sister continued to talk about her unbirthday date idea, my head started molding it into a plan for much younger children and families.
As a teenager I often helped plan my siblings’ birthday parties. I loved to create invitations, games, food, and decorations to match a unique theme. I always felt a twinge of regret when a party was over. I impatiently waited until the next sibling’s birthday, wishing I could celebrate more than once each year.
An unbirthday party does just that. It gives children an opportunity to experience the magic of a birthday, without having to wait for another year to roll around.
I immediately began planning a surprise unbirthday party, complete with games, presents, cake, and tea cups. It was an incredible success.
Party Pointers
·         Decide a date to hold your unbirthday party a few weeks in advance, so you have plenty of time to send invitations and purchase supplies.
·         Check with guests to make certain actual birthdays do not fall on the day chosen. After all, this is an unbirthday party for everyone in attendance.
·         Although an unbirthday party may closely resemble a real birthday party, the fun lies in throwing a little quirkiness unto the scene. This can be done with unusual decorations, gifts, food, etc.
Pocket Watch Invitations
For each invitation you will need:
A sheet of yellow cardstock
A sheet of white paper
A marker
A 4-inch circle template
A 3-inch circle template
Trace two 4-inch circles onto yellow cardstock. Trace a 3-inch circle onto white paper. Cut out circles. Paste white circle in the center of one cardstock circle. Draw the hands of a clock with marker onto the white circle. Make a straight crease about ½ inch from the side of the remaining yellow circle. Dot some glue on the back of the crease. Align it with the curvature of the yellow clock circle. Paste it firmly in place to create the cover of the pocket watch.
After glue has dried, write “It’s time for an unbirthday party” on the cover the watch. On the inside cover, write the date, time, place, and other important information. Remember to ask guests to bring one wrapped, unlabeled present.
The Unbirthday Tea Party
Purchase odd assortment of teacups, saucers, sugar bowls, platters, and teapots from a local thrift store. Make sure to wash all purchases. Use a crazy quilt, old sheet, or colorful piece of fabric as a tablecloth.  
Set a saucer and teacup for each guest.
Unbirthday treats can mirror the elegant delicacies enjoyed at a formal tea party, with a few informal twists.
Unbirthday Cake
This cake is colorful on the outside and delightfully chocolaty on the inside. It’s a perfect cake to for lots of unbirthday candles.
2 boxes chocolate cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding
8 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 cup oil
1 cup warm water
4 cups chocolate chips
1 can white frosting
Food coloring
Mix eggs, water and oil into cake and pudding mixes. Add sour cream and chocolate chips. Pour into two greased 10 inch round pans. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When cakes have cooled, layer them. Divide frosting into bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring of your choice into each bowl. Decorate cake with different colors of frosting. Place one candle in the cake for each child.
When candles are lit, position each child so he or she can blow out an unbirthday candle.  Remind children to make an unbirthday wish before they blow their candles out. 

Unbirthday “Tea”
What is an unbirthday tea party without the tea? But in this silly little party, even the tea is not conventional.
1 gallon warm milk
1 bottle hazelnut coffee creamer
Warm milk and coffee creamer on low heat, stirring frequently. When “tea” reaches desired temperature, pour into teapots and serve.

Unbirthday Puffs
These little muffins are a perfect compliment for the unbirthday tea.
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
In a small bowl, beat shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; add to the sugar mixture alternately with milk. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Meanwhile, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the warm puffs in butter, then in cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately. Yield: 1 dozen.

Unbirthday Charades
Cut several sheets of paper into small squares. Write a noun (person, place, or thing) on each slip of paper. Items may include dormouse, Mad Hatter, tablecloth, pocket watch, teapot, sugar, tea, March Hare, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, Alice, Cheshire Cat, etc.  Fold each piece of paper in half. Fill an empty teapot with the folded slips of paper. Invite a child to pick one piece of paper from the teapot. Explain that the child can help the other guests guess the word by using actions (but not words) to show what the word is. The first child to correctly guess the noun gets to pick the next piece of paper. The game continues until all the paper is gone.

Unbirthday Gift Exchange
Invite each guest to bring one wrapped gift. You may want to consider encouraging gifts that are simple and inexpensive.
All wrapped presents are placed in the center of the room. Place children in order from youngest to oldest. The youngest child gets to pick the first present. After unwrapping the present, have the child set it on her lap so all guests can see it.
It is the next child’s turn. He may choose to take the first child’s gift, or choose a new present from the pile. If he decides to take the first child’s gift, the first child chooses a new gift from the pile. If he chooses a gift from the pile, it is the third child’s turn. She may take a gift from the pile, or take an unwrapped present from someone’s lap.
At any time during the gift exchange, if a present is taken from one child’s lap, that child immediately chooses another present from the pile, or from another child. However, a child cannot choose a gift that was taken from him or her during the previous turn. 
The game ends when each child has a present.

No room! No room! No room!
This game of tag mimics the tea party scene from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. As the Mad Hatter and March Hare see Alice seated at the large table, they emphatically declare to Alice that there is “No room!”
Play this game in a yard or large room where children can run.  
All children select a partner. If there are an odd number of children, have three children create a team. Each pair links arms and stand together in a place of their choosing. Pick one partnership to break up. One child from the broken pair is It.
 All other pairs remain stationary while It chases his former partner, attempting to tag her. The child is not safe until she runs to a partnership, links arms with one of the children in the pair and shouts “No room! No room!”  The child on the other side of the three-child-chain with must break his link and run away from It before he is tagged.  If the child is tagged, he becomes it, and begins to chase the child who was previously It.
Continue the game until all children have had the opportunity to be chased or to be it.
Goody Cups
Send your guests home with party favors in tea cups. A variety of tea cups or mugs may be purchased for a cheap price at a thrift store. Wash and dry each cup. Fill with candy, cookies, balloons, confetti, etc.

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