Last month, our darling daughter turned TWO YEARS OLD! Just imagine all the feels of this emotional momma as her first baby turns another year older.
Initially, my husband and I thought of just planning a short staycation or a quick trip to the beach for our little one’s birthday. Aside from having a tighter budget this time around (here is my post about first birthday party), we thought, “the next party will be on her seventh birthday”. Yet, after several hits and misses with the planning, we just couldn’t deny the fact that our daughter loves attending kiddie parties, mascots, fries and ice cream, singing and dancing, and spending time with kids her age… So why not just give her a simple yet fun celebration? It can STILL be budget friendly (read more about it later) and enjoyable at the same time.
Two weeks before her birthday, there I was, scouting for birthday party packages of Jollibee and McDonald’s in Alabang area, where we live. It was quite easy because Jollibee and McDonald’s in Commerce Avenue are located right next to each other haha! 🙂
To be honest, Jollibee was our first choice. Our daughter simply loves screaming “Jayibee!” at the sight of Jollibee’s chubby face in every corner of the Metro. However, my preferred timeslot was no longer available. Additionally, they were stricter about having a party theme different from their standard ones. That was non negotiable for me because my daughter is obsessed with Frozen and it was one of the reasons why we wanted a party in the first place. It was the perfect time and venue for her to be able to enjoy Frozen songs, Frozen party décor, Frozen anything!
So anyway McDonald’s it is! McDo was more flexible and easier to deal with. Plus, we really like their food better anyway. I reserved our slot, made a down payment, and the next thing we knew, we were having a fun-filled Sunday afternoon with Elsa, Anna, and Olaf… (Oh and Grimace too)! 🙂
We still wanted to keep things simple, on a budget, and intimate. Hence, we only invited our family, close relatives, and a few friends – mostly Andie’s godparents. We are truly grateful to everyone who came, celebrated, and showered our little one with love, even if it was a “family day” Sunday. THANK YOU! 🙂
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JUST TO SHARE SOME QUICK AND PRACTICAL TIPS ON ORGANIZING SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS AS SUCH, PLEASE READ BELOW:
- Book ahead!
Despite having SO MANY branches around Metro Manila, it’s a heavy mommy competition….for dates and timeslots. Haha seriously! Book ahead or better luck next year.
- Limit the guest list and prioritize those with kids
Most party areas are small (ours could fit only 100pax). So aside from it being budget friendly to invite only selected number of guests, you wouldn’t want a cramped party venue. Oh, and invite those with kids who will enjoy the party with your little one.
- Arrive on time
Because of having several bookings in one day, Jollibee and McDonald’s are strict with their schedule. So you better come on time to make sure you make the most of your 2 hours. Guests arrive on time too, especially on Sundays, and you don’t want to keep them waiting. We were there 30 minutes before the timeslot and 5 minutes later, guests already started to arrive.
- Ask questions and make requests
J&M will automatically say they only have this and that theme and you can only do this not that. BUT this inquisitive momma (who insisted on Frozen and other details) always asks the right questions. Haggle and express your needs and wants. They will accommodate you if they can. As long as it’s nothing outrageous like bringing a circus in. Just always smile and don’t be too bossy. 🙂
- Prepare additional prizes and loot bags if you want.
As an OC mom, I was not quite satisfied with the prizes and loot bags from McDonald’s. Maybe because I wanted everything themed? But don’t get me wrong, McDo had a complete package. I just wanted more hehe. 🙂 Note however that I didn’t go over my Php3,000 budget because I really combed thru department stores and bookstores for bargain Frozen stuff.
- Order the cake in advance.
If you are getting the cake from their package, make sure to tell them in advance. They need 2 weeks production. We chose to order our family favourite, super yummy, Costa Brava. The downside of ordering cake from outside is you can’t serve it. So we brought take out boxes for the guests.
- Still hire a photographer
If you think you’ll be busy entertaining guests, hire someone to take the photos. It could be just a cousin of yours who is into photography. No need for the topnotch kiddie party photographers (unless you really have a lot of budget). All you need are basic photographs to preserve the memories. We hired the accredited photographer of McDonald’s. His rate was Php3,000 for three hours.
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At the end of the day, what brought us real joy is seeing our daughter appreciate everything. She had a blast on her birthday! Even weeks after her party, she could not stop raving about the mascot and how much she enjoyed. That alone makes everything so worth it. 🙂
Some would say young kids won’t remember early life events… but I don’t agree with that. I actually remember some snippets of my first birthday, whether you believe it or not. Besides, there will always be photos and videos to look back on. I personally believe that there are memories that live in the heart too. Even if the mind can vaguely recall once we get old, I’m sure we’ll never forget how we felt.
When it comes to making more meaningful memories with my child and my family, I try not to settle for anything less. 🙂
Celebrations are significant. Whether it’s a simple celebration of getting three stars given by the nursery teacher, a promotion, graduation, Christmas, Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or weddings, we must acclaim each moment because it only means we are celebrating life, and living it to the fullest. Nevertheless, celebrations don’t necessarily have to be “grand” or “impressive”. Simple celebrations can be as momentous, provided that you feel sincere happiness while doing so. As long as we’re together as a family, there will always be something to celebrate.