Oh boy, I don't know if I'll ever do it again.
Colin had his birthday party this past Saturday. We planned a "Polar Express" party, based on the beloved book and movie. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and certainly Colin and all his guests were in awe. But two and a half hours of 10 boys running around our main floor, plus days of preparation and decoration was just too much. I think in the future we'll have a family dinner for the boys' actual birthdays, and then have one big summer bash with all their friends. I'm thinking 30 boys, one big sports game (baseball, soccer, etc) and a barbecue. Yeah, it seems big now, but it would be one party instead of three that fall 3 weeks apart and all in the Christmas season.
But for posterity's sake, here are some photos of our wildly successful (and very wild!) Polar Express party:
I cut out a ton of paper snowflakes and hung them from the ceiling, to give the impression of snowing in the living room. This was probably my favourite part of all the decorating. We've left it all up for the Christmas season.
The "Staff" - my sister Jennifer, my mom and I all were waiters, while James played the conductor. The kids' faces were priceless when we served hot chocolate and "candies with nougat centres white as snow," with that scene from the movie playing in the background. Probably the kids' favourite part of the party.We decorated cookies for one of the activities. The boys literally piled about 2 inches of sprinkles on top of the cookies, and were so proud of their creations. We also played a relay game of unwrapping presents - to see which team could unwrap a pile of gifts the fastest. There are no photos of that one, as you can imagine the craziness of it!
Our group of 10 boys, all in pajamas and housecoats, just like in the movie. They all received a gold ticket in their party invitation to bring to the party and get punched by the conductor.The birthday cake - which looks so fancy and was really so easy! A box of cake mix and a jar of icing, a little blue food colouring and a plastic baggie to draw with. The shape of the train was made from two loaf pans (the train cars) and a square pan (the train engine.) I cut a few pieces out of the square and added Oreo cookies for wheels and voila - instant train cake! Colin was over the moon for it.
So that was that. We weren't completely cleaned up until the next day, and I think the boys are still in recovery mode. But Colin thought it was so amazing, and apparently all his friends are still talking about it. By all accounts, a total success!