To Party or Not to Party, That is the Question?

Was there really anything better than a Strawberry Shortcake party in the 80's? I still remember that Strawberry Shortcake house used as a centerpiece in this picture, I would love to still have that for my daughter!

To Party or Not to Party, That is the Question???
 
I see this question raised all the time on mom boards and even in social circles of mine, the struggle between throwing the big bash that would give every kid the party of a lifetime or keeping it simple and not going overboard on extravagances. The truth is there really is no right or wrong way to celebrate someone or an occasion. I'm a firm believer in going with what type of celebration is right for you and your family. Truthfully, the best match is most likely a combination of the two - some years big and some years small.
 
When I was growing up, I always looked forward to my birthday! I was born on Easter Sunday and it was always the perfect Springtime weather in Florida. My mom was a single parent and money was always limited. I never had any elaborate parties, mostly just family and a few neighbors would attend. The one piece of the celebration that always stands out in my mind is that my mom would always make a cake for me from scratch and I thought that was so special. I had all the classic 80's characters like Strawberry Shortcake, Sesame Street and the Care Bears. However, my favorite and most memorable cake was when I turned 11 and my birthday fell on Easter Sunday for the first time since I was born. My mom made this beautiful Easter basket cake filled with green coconut grass and tons of jelly beans, which are my favorite! I remember she had seen the recipe and picture in a magazine and tore it out to follow the directions. It even had a handle that went across the top, it was perfect. This was the last birthday I was able to spend with my mom as she passed away from cancer a few months later that year. When I think back to that birthday even now, I still remember exactly how that cake looked and how wonderful it still makes me feel and that is a true birthday gift.
 
I guess the take away is that there is a million ways to celebrate whether big or small, it is making the memories along with it that will stick with us for years to come. I cherish every birthday of my own children because it is not only a celebration for them of growing one year older, but it is also a celebration to me of some of the best days I'll ever have in my life.  So, on those days - we PARTY!

Cookie Monster, my 1st birthday cake! Classically surrounded by all his Sesame Street friends.