Religious rites of passages such as a bar and bat mitzvahs are opportunities to celebrate while infusing our children’s parties with meanings such as visions for the future and lessons of how we interpret what a party should mean to our kids.
There is absolutely no reason to overspend to throw a wonderful and meaningful party for your daughter’s bat mitzvah celebration. When a girl reaches the age of twelve, she takes on responsibility for her deeds which until now were completely on the shoulders of her parents. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah (which literally means the daughter of her own good deeds) suggests that she now gets full credit for all the beneficence she brings to the world.
Every girl wants to feel grown up and that’s what her Bat Mitzvah birthday celebration is all about. Of course, any child no matter what her age is excited about the presents she will receive, the decor and the food. The majority of young ladies would hesitate to label such a party as a traditional ritual but rather as the perfect time to get together with their friends, classmates and relatives.
We will attempt to give you some wonderful ideas of how to combine the thrill of a fun party with meaningfulness so that your daughter and her friends will leave the party fulfilled both materialistically and spiritually simultaneously. If you don’t think that’s probable, please read on.
The perfect outdoor weather has finally arrived and there is no more perfect setting than the great outdoors for your party. If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard, then your venue is set but if you are an apartment dweller you may be able to find a park at which to throw your bash.
Music: You may wonder how can a party be fun and at the same time be meaningful? It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Yes, dancing and music are imperative, but they don’t have to be so loud and deafening. A couple of speakers around the yard with a nice mix of music coming from whatever listening device you own should certainly be more than enough. There is no need to spend your hard-earned cash on a disc jockey or band. Each girl has their own taste in music, and some might not even want haphazard dancing at all. This is where a professional dance instructor comes in. There is usually someone in the family who is a talented dancer and may be willing to give an hour of her time gratis or at just a minimum fee. If your party is all girls, it makes it easy for everyone to join in.
We recently were invited to a family Bat Mitzvah party and the parents of the birthday girl hired a local dance instructor with a wonderful and warm personality. This young woman came with all the gear that was needed to give the girl, her friends and even her little cousins the time of their life. This lovely person brought her own music on her own device along with a couple of inexpensive prizes to motivate the girls to learn some new dance tricks. The point of her entertainment was not just to rehash some old dances but to actually teach some new ones. It was surprising how all different aged females got involved from 2-80.
Themed Vision Boards: It is difficult to define a vision board in one word if you do not know what it is. How does a young twelve-year-old envision her future? By flipping through various magazines for as much time as you can a lot to them, these children can create wonderful goal setting vision boards that they can look at again and again as they mature. It will be interesting for them to look at a vision board created at twelve when they are all grown up or on their path getting there. Friends and relatives that at first you may think don’t have much in common, become partners in making each person’s vision board. What’s so beautiful and wholesome about this activity is there is absolutely no competition, and each person helps the other find the pictures that will complete each vision board.
This is idea is a perfect blending of scrapbooking and feelings about life into one activity. Each person will think for herself what is her positive vision of her future. Here are some of the items that are required to run this project and feel free to substitute your own original ideas in addition or instead of the ones we are recommending.
1) Poster board or oak tag can be purchased almost anywhere today including online if you have the foresight. If you are using a regular size oak tag you will be able to cut one in half for two people to use. The size is flexible, but the color will usually be white so that you have a blank canvas for each person to be able to expand their creativity.
2) Stock up on various magazines in advance or you can ask your guests if they have some old issues that they might love to get rid of.
3) Sticker quotes are essential to help the girls express what they want to communicate via their vision board. If you want to spend the money there are vision board kits to be purchased however, using stock pictures and sayings to an extreme will take away both the creativity and conversation flow. Imagine how a special shy girl will feel if the most popular girl in the class hands her a picture from a magazine that expresses the more reserved girl's feelings exactly. This can help stimulate friendships and allows them to bloom spontaneously.
Food & Drinks: These are probably the most challenging aspects of the party to keep at bay. There is no end to the amount and variety of food and drinks that can be purchased and prepared. Twelve-year-old girls will have more than enough with salads and pizza. Each girl can make her own individual salad from a variety of choices on one table or counter. There are some pizza shops that have Bogo (buy one get one free) specials so this delicious item should not make you rob the bank.
Is a Birthday Cake Necessary?
Have you noticed that it sometimes happens at a busy birthday party that the birthday cake is left untouched or forgotten? I bet if the grandmother would have made it herself, she would make sure that it is remembered. So, the next time someone reliable offers to bake and decorate the cake, take them up on the offer instead of having your young guests eat pure Crisco and commercial cake mix cake. Here is one place to cut down on costs.
Two Gallon Beverage Dispensers
It's a hot birthday. Do you know where your drinks are? If you are a smart mom you will beg, steal, or borrow these amazing inventions, the two-gallon beverage dispensers. Only initially you will be hesitant to invest in these if your neighbor cannot lend you a few, and eventually you will realize that these dispensers will be some of the best investments you have made not only in your popularity on your block but as money saving gadgets.
How much cash do you have to put down to buy the various lemonade, iced tea and soda bottles for a typical party? The birthday girl might want one flavor, or Aunt Leah claims to only like another, some people only drink diet and some will never go near it. Where do you draw the line? Although your grandmother would never understand purchasing a commodity that comes freely from the kitchen sink, this generation has become accustomed to drinking water, which is a good thing. Two-gallon beverage dispensers take water to a whole new level. There is nothing as appealing as a clear beverage dispenser which is naturally frosted from the cold drink within it. Here is where your child’s imagination can be of benefit to you deciding what exactly to put into the attractive dispensers.
Fruit infused dispensers are quite popular now and for good reasons. Besides looking so pretty and colorful these water-based drinks are so thirst quenching with no added sugar necessary. Because who likes that sugary aftertaste anyway? It could be challenging to keep the liquids in the dispensers cold so here is a helpful hint for success.
One way to keep the water cold is a fruit and ice diffuser which comes included with some dispensers. There are several ways to decorate your infuser before placing it in the freezer at least one day prior to the party. Let’s say you are using three dispensers. You can put different fruits in each one so that each dispenser has a particular flavor. For example, dispenser number one has kiwis, dispenser number two has strawberries and dispenser number three has blueberries. Other popular fruits would be oranges and lemons. I particularly like the look of stacking different fruits in one diffuser for a classy look.
We hope we have taken out the mystery and money worry out of a Bat Mitzvah party occasion. This is a time when we all should take stock of the direction, we are guiding our daughters and how they can realize their individual potential for greatness. With nice music, a vision board activity, great food and delicious beverage dispenser drinks your party will be one that will be remembered fondly.