Planning the Party
When I faced my fiftieth birthday, the thought of how to celebrate it came up.
There simply had to be a party. After all, as my birthday landed on a Saturday, I knew the gods had decreed it must be so.
I wanted to have a party – a great party. Just like the ones I remember from my family time in Denmark.
Party like in the old Country….
People in Denmark celebrate at every chance they get and they celebrate big. Aside from the usual weddings, there’s christenings, confirmations, round birthdays, anniversaries (even 12 ½ ), graduations.
In Denmark there is an entire infrastructure in place set up so people can celebrate in style. There’s communal gathering houses, bus and taxi services, musicians, caterers. I remember watching my grandmother dancing late into the night from my horizontal position on the small mattress set up for the kids to sleep on. When it was my turn to be a mom, one party had a nanny hired to take care of the small kids, including a nursery set up in the communal house’s office.
Parties were always an all family affair. There’s no leaving the kids at home. Why would you? They deserve to party too. They also need to learn how to party. I have many fond memories of dancing on the feet of several doting great uncles, laughing the whole time.
A New World Party
Back on the wet coast, my vision of a family affair was incredibly difficult to realise. Well, let me rephrase that, it was incredibly difficult to realise for under $5000! One catering company quoted me $1500 for the room and $2500, minimum, for the food. And that was before we added beverages and cake! Yet despite not having a venue, I steamed ahead, booking the catering, coming up with the music play list and the theme.
It was my sister’s idea really – an Elvis Fest. Well, after we had the theme, things rolled along from there. In the invite, I stipulated that everyone, and I mean everyone, needed to at least have a pair of signature Elvis glasses. To ensure this I bought 30 pairs from my local costume shop. Gotta love it when you can show up at the shop and say, “I need 30 Elvis glasses”, and without missing a beat, the proprietor says, “Sure, I’ll get a box”.
It was at the eleventh hour we found a venue. It was perfect. A pool table, couches, dance area, wet bar. TWO bathrooms. It was all good.
Finally Coming Together
After months of planning, the night went off perfectly. I had my full Elvis gold lame suit on, junior was dressed as military Elvis and husband was slick 1960’s rat pack Elvis. As people came in, we donned the Elvis specs and had everyone strike a pose. There was an Elvis song sing-a-long. My mom wrote a song for me which we played on kazoos. Husband presented a great slide show. The food was stupendous and copious. And we danced. There was laughter, silliness and great company. It was a perfect party.
A Good time was had by All
The true praise came later when I sent out my thank you notes to the attendees.
One little boy told his pop that it had been the best party of his life and for his birthday, he wanted an Elvis dance party as well.
Primary directive achieved.