Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Make a Group of 13 year old Boys Estatic

Since Jake's birthday is in late December and this year we were traveling, he agreed to have a party in January instead. Days came and went, school started back up, and suddenly we realized that hey, we can do a Chinese New Year's party!

The kids were especially interested in money in the envelopes. The rules? The money must be even numbers, not odd, and NEVER $4, as traditionally that's what is given at funerals.

Never too old for a goodie bag! These cute Chinese take boxes from the dollar store were stuffed with mini oranges (for good luck), fortune cookies, more red envelopes, chop sticks, and some mini firecrackers. You throw them on the ground and they make a loud bang-the boys immediately ran outside with them and all I could hear were mini explosions for the next 10 minutes.

They ate some chicken peanut noodles and spring rolls, drank green tea, did a little sword fighting with bamboo sticks, and then tried their hands at Chinese calligraphy.

The highlight of the party was the ice cream sundae bar. Each boy was given a dish with 3 big scoops of ice cream and allowed to choose from a variety of sauces, and then a huge selection of assorted candy, sprinkles, gummies, etc.

"How much can we have?" tentative voices asked, trying to be polite, but their eyes nearly falling out of their head at the sheer THOUGHT of being allowed that much candy on their ice cream.

"As much as you like. There is one rule-what you take, you eat."

"Really?" (oh my god I have died and gone to heaven this is just TOO good to be true)

"Yep. Enjoy!"

They hopped on one foot and then the other, their eyes wide and shiny, then debated the merits of Smarties vs Skittles. The gummies were the hands down favorite and they were delighted to realize that candy actually freezes when it's mixed in ice cream. Fingers found their way back to the candy dishes to scoop a few more when they thought nobody was looking but before I knew it, three empty dishes were handing back to me with sticky faced thank-yous. Off they went to slay more dragons with their bamboo swords and scare each other with their firecrackers.

Ah, parties. It always gets tricky when the kids are older, but this one hands down was one of the best. What sort of party do your older kids love?

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