EVERY child loves a party and delights in setting out with a gift wrapped in coloured paper and attractively tied. But to a child an excitement greater than going to parties is that of having a birthday party of his or her own. The joy on a little face as the chorus rings out ‘Happy Birthday to You ‘makes another memory picture i’or a mother’s mental treasure-chest.
I always think children arrive at a party tongue-tied and leave like young hooligans. They love birthday tea-parties, so I make the table as gay as possible on such occasions, with paper frillings, crackers, jellies, orangeade, candles and balloons. By each plate I put a wrapped gift and a small bag of sweets.
There is no need for special individual touches to the table when children are small, but when they are over ten years it is nice to make the table more personal. Put a small photograph of the child whose birthday it is by each guest’s plate, have a lucky horseshoe as a table-centre and place-cards shaped like small horseshoes. Fix an initial brooch on each girl’s plate and a tie-pin to each boy’s place-card.
Young guests often appreciate pictures of favourite film stars as place-cards; small china animals are also popular.
Other suggested table gifts for young guests are handkerchiefs with Christian names embroidered in one corner, or a pencil, rubber and sharpener fixed to a key-ring for each schoolchild.
For small children, have a nursery rhyme written on each place-card to suit individual guests – ‘Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary ‘for a girl called Mary, and so on. The poetic member of the family can make up rhymes to suit those guests whose names cannot be linked with nursery rhymes. Little touches like these make a party different and successful.