Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Granny's 97th Birthday Party

The birthday girl!

The birthday party for my Granny was a success! All of the residents and any family that they had visiting enjoyed it very much, and most importantly, Granny loved it. I met my $25 challenge by a mile, thanks to some great bargain finds. I ran out of time to buy things before I ran out of money. If I had known the deals I would find, I would have gotten way more flowers and tumblers and lanterns on my first trip to the stores! The decorations were not what I originally had in mind, and if I were to do it over again, I would get lots more paper lanterns and would have had one of the maintenance people use a ladder to hang them from the ceiling (which was my original plan). But there were no maintenance people readily available and the ceilings were higher than I anticipated, so I ended up only using 4 lanterns and putting them on walls. The residents appreciated and enjoyed the decorations so much, that people started asking what the special occasion was at the mere sight of the flowers on the tables! Although it was not aesthetically what I wanted, it was even better than I imagined in terms of being fun for the residents and for Granny. It did not take much--those old ladies sure know how to party! And I can say "old" without meaning any offense--all but 2 of the guests were over 90 years old! If I make it that long, I will consider "old" a compliment! How cool to be surrounded by so many years of experience and wisdom. It was a very fun day and although it wasn't what I originally had in mind, I think it turned out just great.
Here's the hallway area where tea time is held. It's outside of the main dining room and there is a cute little old-fashioned ice cream parlor that they open at snack time, too.

Here's the cute little ice cream parlor. We didn't use that room, but there were people in there and it has the porch area where it is nice to sit outside. It was a little chilly that day, though.

So here's the money part:

4 paper lanterns from Michael's crafts $4

pink crepe paper steamers from DollarTree $1

6 bushes of brightly colored fake flowers from DollarTree $6

5 bright tumblers 75% off at party store $1.62

paper plates and napkins from DollarTree $2

3-tier Martha Stewart cupcake stand from BigLots $1

roll of pink kraft paper from party store $1

Total: $16.62

These are the things that I used that I had already:

tape, scissors, plastic forks and spoons, ribbon to hang the lanterns

And here's the party!

I could not do to-the-floor table covers because most of the residents use wheelchairs and they tend to get in the way, so I covered the top of each table with pink kraft paper and put a couple streamers on the end. Each table got a colorful tumbler with bright flowers and I put a few on the ledge behind the tables as well. They are only $1 a bunch, and the tumblers were on clearance at Card and Party Outlet . They turned out to be about 30 cents each!! The guests took the flowers back to their rooms.
Although I am usually not a fan of artificial flowers, I like to use them in situations like this because they do not wilt and die and they can brighten up the room without any maintenance on the part of granny or the other ladies who took them back to their rooms. The guests beginning to trickle in.

99 year-old getting out of wheelchair to hug 97 was either going to be very sweet or disastrous. I was torn between grabbing my camera and standing by to grab someone who may fall, but luckily there was staff nearby to catch anyone who needed it, so I took pictures! It was all sweet, no disaster!

This is the cart they use for tea time snacks and drinks before I set it up and got the cupcakes on the cupcake tower. We also had sugar-free pudding and Jello for those who could not have sugar.

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