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Happy Birthday To You…And You, Too!

 

Double
the kids, double the gifts, double the cakes, double the celebration! A
birthday party for twins is a special occasion. With the Diaz Duo most recently
passing their seventh birthday, our family has a few celebrations under our belt—here are a few tips (and opinions) on making your
kiddos celebrations rock!

ONE PARTY OR TWO? Twiniversity
strongly recommends you stick with one party as long as possible. Yes, your twins are
two different people, but you can make elements of the party about each child.
Two parties equals twice the money spent and twice the time planning. If they
are old enough, let them pick the location. If you have twins with very
different opinions, you can alternate the celebration’s location each year. The
Diaz Duo has been lucky to have gender-neutral locations and parties.

FOR YOUNGER ONES: Between ages
1-5, consider the traditional route of hosting a party in your home or in the
back room of a restaurant. We’ve had most of the
Diaz Duo’s bashes in a private room at La Mela with
themes like carnival and costume party. Here’s a big cost-saver: sometimes we
pick themes on clearance at online party stores, saving a ton on decorations and
goody bags!

FOR OLDER KIDS: For children ages
five and over, some of my favorite combo parties are:

1. Pottery – Trust me, boys get into it. We like
Chambers Pottery in Tribeca.     

2. Sports – Make sure it’s one everyone can
participate in, like soccer or martial arts.

  3. Picnic – Getting a permit from the Parks
Department will only set you back $25 and     playing games like hot potato or tug-of-war
require little equipment and are a lot of fun.

WHO TO INVITE? Let each child
make their own guest list. Figure out the maximum number of kids you can have
and, of course, let each child have an equal number of guests.

INVITES/THANKS YOUS: Send Evites
to make it easy on yourself, but don’t skip Thank You notes! Teach your kiddos
the proper etiquette and they will thank you later in life. If your children
are too young to write, let them finger paint or color a blank card and you can
write the message for them.

GIFTS: If your home is overrun with stuff, you
may want to ask guests to bring a can of pet food for a local shelter or even
some candy that you can send to the troops via Operation Smile. If this is
too hard for your children to comprehend, then put all the presents in a closet
after they are opened and use them one by one, so they are appreciated to the
fullest.

ONE CAKE OR TWO? We used to
only get one cake and re-light the candles, but now the twins argue over
chocolate vs. vanilla, traditional vs. ice cream—they shouldn’t have to share everything. This year we had THREE cakes
(one for my husband, too). And most twin families will sing “Happy Birthday”
twice, alternating who goes first each year.

FINAL THOUGHTS: No matter how
you choose to celebrate, it shouldn’t
cause you more stress than happiness. If you aren’t the type of person who
likes to plan parties, hand it over to the professionals and let them do the
work. The kids will be just as happy—and you, even happier.

Happy
Birthday To All!

Natalie Diaz runs the global online network Twiniversity,
for parents of multiples, and produces
Multiplicity, a magazine for parents of multiples. She is also a full-time mom
raising twins in NYC with her husband, John.