A wonderful family affair for my mom's 80th birthday. You never know, as your parents age, exactly how long you'll have with them. As my mom's 80th birthday approached, I reached out to my two sisters, that I wanted to throw an 80th birthday party for her. They were totally on board! My sister, Kim, who lives in the same town as my mom (I live in another state) reserved the venue and I started reaching out to family to attend. My sisters and I divided the food responsibilities, my sister, Lori, provided drinks and I took on decorations and activities. We only had an hour to set up the entire venue and all of the decorations had to travel well (I was coming from 5 hours away), so we were a little limited in what we could do. I thought it turned out great, all things considered. I am so happy we had this party because my mom passed away unexpectedly a few weeks later and this was the last time I saw her in person.
What People Ate
Kim provided food from Mom's favorite restaurants: hamburgers from White Castle; and catered cheese coneys and 3-way spaghetti from Skyline Chili. Lori brought two appetizer trays including amazing homemade bread shaped into "80" with boysenberry jam made from her own berries. I brought meatballs and caeser salad.
What People Drank
A variety of soft drinks and bottled water
Lori brought a delicious homemade raspberry cheesecake, and I made cupcakes (even making my own "80" toppers and matching confetti) and sugar cookies shaped as "80"s
Activities / Games
Most of the time was spent visiting and eating but I did plan two games and a couple of activities. Activities: Mom had dementia, so I wanted to have everyone take pictures with our instant camera to help Mom remember who was there. I also purchased a jar that came with little notes so that we could all share a message why we loved her and she could read them after the party. Games: I made a sheet of questions about 1943. I had made five photo box centerpieces, three sides had different photos of Mom, but on one side I had photocopied (with size adjustment) some fact pages from a little booklet about 1943. The answers were in the centerpieces. I also did a "Who Knows the Birthday Girl Best" game. Mom had a lot of fun being the center of attention. I found a bunch of candy that would have been for sale in 1943 at a local nostalgic novelty store and made up gift bags for the winners.
Lori and Kim