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Birthday Blues


My niece is a planner.

She is very detail-oriented so when we received the invitation to her daughter’s sixth birthday party, I knew it wouldn’t be your typical event. But even I wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

Lily, my great-niece, loves the color blue. The invitations instructed us to wear blue to the party and this was not just a family event; in fact, several of her kindergarten classmates were invited as well. The party was on a recent Saturday so I took the opportunity to leave town for the day (gasp!) and not work (double gasp!!) but instead spend some quality time with family.

It was as if we made a trip to Smurfland. There were blue-clad children and their parents everywhere, blue balloons hanging from blue streamers. Blue Play-doh for the kids to make projects. Blue beads to string on to necklaces for the guests to take home.

Not only that, the birthday lunch was a study in blue as well. Except for the pizza, everything was … yes, blue. Homemade blue macaroni and cheese, blue corn tortilla chips with blue-tinged salsa, blue deviled eggs, blue Jell-o. It truly was quite the experience. Then all the young guests and the birthday girl got to decorate their own blue cupcakes with blue frosting and sparkles. You have never seen so many blue lips and teeth in your life.

My niece also had background music for the entire party, her ‘Blue CD’ that she and her mom, my sister, put together especially for the festivities. It was an eclectic mix of music with one common theme. You guessed it; the word ‘blue’ included in every song.

Just when you thought it was over, out came my niece’s version of a birthday piñata. She does not like piñatas. The shattering of a papier-mâché figure with candy spilling on to the floor or the ground and hordes of little blue people clamoring for it was more than she wanted to deal with.

So instead she utilized a large cardboard box, cut several holes into it, covered them with different shades of blue tissue paper, and had attached a plastic cup on the inside of the box under each hole with a small treat inside. The kids drew numbers, and, in order and very carefully, picked out a blue-covered hole in the piñata box, punched their way through it and reached into the cup below to pick out their prize. Everyone got more than one turn at punching through a hole and every prize was, in one way or the other, blue. A blue jump rope, a blue hair bow, a blue ring pop. When it was over, everyone had their treats and the box was just collapsed for recycling … no mess, no fuss, no piñata pieces scattered all over the floor.

Next came the face painting but the kids could choose what they wanted; not everyone was blue. There were a couple of pirate-themed faces to go along with the butterflies and the princesses.

At least my great niece got a wide variety of birthday gifts and not all of them were blue, either.

It definitely was one of the most unusual ‘theme’ parties I have attended, especially for a six-year-old. You would think perhaps an Ariel or Frozen theme, something a bit more traditional, would have been chosen. Oh well, I am sure all the little Oompah Loompah-like children that attended will remember it fondly for years to come.

As we were preparing to leave, my niece gave us a heads up about her son’s birthday party. That one will be coming up in early December. You’re thinking perhaps a holiday theme? Of course not; that’s too predictable.

Besides, my great nephew Jay loves dinosaurs.

I can hardly wait to see if my niece digs up a Stegosaurus to come join the fun.



Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.