I promised my kids in October, 2010 that I'd throw them their own little Christmas party where they could invite three friends each. The rules were simple... they would help set-up and clean-up, and they would be the hosts. We were off to a good start-listing all their friends they were going to invite. But I soon realized they had a lot more friends than they did when they were in preschool. So the three friend agreement turned into two friends for one, four friends for the other, and six friends for my oldest child. Not all the kids could make it, so the total still ended up 12, thank heavens!
Second, I know that 7 year olds and 6 year olds priorities are very different than an adults. But for some unknown reason, I really believed they would be excited and motivated to help me set-up and clean-up--I mean, it is their friends party. A few hours before the party, they were helping me set-up the arts and crafts table, until one of Madisons friends arrived early. Then, all three of them left me in the dust with the paper plates, cookies, and decorations in hand.
And lastly, I thought they would absorb themselves in their new role as hosts. All three love being the center of attention. What better opportunity than to be the host! But I soon found out all they wanted to do was dance, sing, tumble, eat, and run. Hosting the party wasn't even in their thought process for the three hours all their friends were jingling and jangling.
In the end, if you throw a party for your elementary age children, make sure you have a friend to help you out because the hosting, cleaning-up, setting-up, and entertaining is and will always end up a mom and dad's responsibility. I did have a mom who stayed to help me. And it was the biggest blessing in disguise.
Kids need responsibility, but they also need to play and burn off some of that kid energy. So at my kids first friend Christmas party, I let my kids be a kid. And I also became a kid, dancing, singing, and enjoying the special memories we were making!
Mom's and dad's have fun this holiday season!