I throw parties for a living - a pretty fun job and one that should mean I can easily host events at home. However, as a mother of three girls I will confess that I found First Communion Parties challenging! You are generally required to dress a seven or eight year old child in all white, not an easy task in its self! Add having everything ready to entertain a hungry group of relatives and friends immediately after, and even the pros can be pushed to the edge.
By the time First Communion rolled around for my third, I had learned to change my expectations and found that I actually enjoyed her party. A few tips on how to host a (relatively) stress free First Communion Party.
1. Remember that this is a party for a child. Kid friendly food, entertainment and things to do outdoors can all contribute to a fun day for everyone. Take some quick family photos and then allow the guest of honor to change in to clothes more conducive to play!
2. Accept all offers of help! Trade with a friend - they come over and help you get ready and stay while you are at church. If you have other young children, they can help them get dressed, ice the drinks, let in the caterer, or greet guests that might arrive before you return. You, in turn, help with their next celebration.
3. Do what you can ahead of time and direct your budget towards your stress points. Consider hiring help for food and serving. Event catering can be done at all price points, “Parties to Go” -as simple as trays of food that can be picked up or delivered or fully-serviced events where staff heat and serve all of the food and do all of the clean up. If you are doing the food yourself, aim for an easy menu such as grilled chicken over greens, a pasta salad and fruit salad. These all can be done ahead of time and will require little last minute work.
4. Plan activities for the kids. After sitting in church there will be pent up energy to burn off. Consider activities such as a bounce house or corn hole for both the young and young-at-heart guests! Then get out and join in on the fun – your child is much more likely to remember you joining in on a Gaga pit than the homemade favors you stayed up to 2 am making.