This was our first year to have a birthday party with actual children. Usually we opt for a family-only birthday dinner, but now that my children have been to, oh, 800 birthday parties in their (combined) 9 years on earth, they got a clue that they could have one too.
So Abi chose a heart theme and 6 friends to invite (I like that one-friend-for-every-year-you-are rule). Josi cut out most of the hearts, and Darel and I hung them from everywhere during the night. Our invitations included a suggestion for each guest to bring one present, from which Abi would choose one to open, and each guest would choose one to take home. The idea was to eliminate loads of presents, the need for goody bags, and the idea that lots of stuff equals happiness. And surprisingly enough, both the kids and the parents seemed to like the idea. I know I did. (Thanks to Merrie S. W. for passing me this idea!) Other activities included playing with stethoscopes (thanks to Mieke for loaning them to us), taking our heartrates before and after dancing all crazy to Heart and Soul, and playing Hide and Seek.
With mac 'n' cheese, apples, and cupcakes for lunch, we sent everyone home happy, and promptly headed upstairs for a nap.