#Noah1withtheForce

It was a no-brainer. If it weren’t Star Wars, what would it be? Talking about our dear Chadric Noah’s first birthday gathering from years back. If you’re wanting to do a simple yet meaningful celebration for your child’s first birthday (after all this quarantine is over…), I hope this post helps. ? We wanted to celebrate this milestone in our family, but given the fact that Noah won’t appreciate yet nor remember his first birthday party when he grows older, we decided to make it an intimate and meaningful budget-friendly yet excellently executed event with yummy food and a good space to bring Noah around the guest tables so he can thank them all! ?

Program

We started off with a time of prayer, dedicating Noah to the Lord, and dedicating ourselves, as his parents, to the Lord. The ninongs and ninangs went up in front and they prayed for Noah and were also prayed for. Men of different generations prayed for Noah, with the youngest who was seven years old that time praying for him last. We believe that prayer is powerful, and having these men pray for Noah was, to us, a symbol of setting him up for the different seasons of his life. We prayed for the food, sang Noah his first birthday song, and blew his candle. Right before we gave instructions for the guests to come over for pictorial before they went to the buffet table, we announced that instead of the usual guest book, we prepared a prayer book where they were to write down their personal prayers for Noah. (By the way, we decided not to make it a children’s party. We’d love to do a children’s party when Noah’s at the age when he already has his own friends for him to enjoy a children’s party with. ?)

Theme: Star Wars

Why Star Wars? If you ask me, it’s because a Belle-themed event is not apt! ? And because it’s a first birthday, we went with Star Wars’ Tsum Tsum version, which made it very appropriate for a baby’s birthday celebration. Here’s how we executed this theme:

Event Logo. Mashing up the child dedication and the theme, we came up with this logo, created by no less than the hubby. These also turned into two of the buntings we used.

Invites. We created a Facebook event and used a Star Wars Tsum Tsum cover photo. Nearing the event day, we posted this video of Noah wearing Darth Vader PJs where he babbles… and we took the liberty of translating his babbles and placed subs. ? Oh, and we used the term “simple lunch gathering” to set proper expectations.

The Space. The venue wasn’t spacious and the interior colors were not as “clean-looking” as we I wanted, but we wanted a clutter-free and a not-too-tight feel. We made this work by asking the guests to wear white tops (cleaner and cooler feel), micromanaging the table arrangements (hello, OCs!), and using ceiling and wall decors instead of table centerpieces. Talk about OC (and caring for the guests), I knew we had two infant guests so we readied two high chairs for them and made sure that the high chairs were placed in table assignments strategic for both the moms and the babies (once a mom, sees things in the eyes of a mom). ?

The Decors. We had Tsum Tsum ceiling buntings, black-and-yellow “Happy Birthday” buntings, excess Tsum Tsum buntings on the walls, and a photo-op backdrop tarp which also served as our backdrop during the prayer time. For the tarp, we intentionally lessened the opacity of the Tsum Tsum print so that on the pics, the design won’t take attention away from the people. By the entrance, we had an LED signage with the event’s hashtag, #Noah1withtheForce. We also brought our own R2 and BB8, as well as light sabers (sold at The Force Shop PH) for photo-op props. Tiny details mattered too: we printed Tsum Tsum place cards and used excess place cards as dish labels on the buffet table, plus mini “1 with the Force” flags on the dessert cake slices. We also had mini Star Wars figurines by the entrance LED signage and on the buffet table.

The Music. We wanted some Star Wars music playing in the background and it was so cool that Pao found this version which was both Star Wars and special (not that Star Wars isn’t… listen to it and you’ll get what I mean ?). โค We played this the whole time except during the child dedication ceremony.

The Cake. We just bought cake from the venue, and placed mini versions of our Star Wars Tsum Tsum buntings on it and on the side of the cake, a black “Happy Birthday” acrylic, and a silver candle on top.

The Guest Prayer Book. Obviously, this one was Star Wars Tsum Tsum themed, inside and out! What made it even better was that Noah’s month-by-month pics were also Star Wars themed, which we included in the prayer book.

Our Get-up. Pao and I wore plain light blue shirts, grey pants, and black rubber shoes (with the guests wearing white tops, being in light blue seemed like a good choice and the shirts were the only things we bought). The birthday boy wore what he already had: a thin, light gray sweater, light gray pants with dark gray accents, and brown boots. We made him wear a black fabric belt (mine, which we tied around Noah’s waist a few times!) where we hooked a DIY mini light saber. We got Noah a Star Wars shirt for his after party pawis attire.


There! I hope this helps you plan and personalize your child’s birthday. If you want to go big, then great! If you want it intimate, great as well! What’s important is that you (and your spouse) discuss and agree on what you both want to happen, what the event is for, and which aspects of the event are non-negotiables. Don’t be afraid to personalize your program. Also, don’t be afraid or shy to ask for family and friends’ help if you’re going to do some DIY. ?

Actually… obviously… another post here that got stuck in my drafts for quite a while (years!). I am amazed by those who get to celebrate their loved one’s birthdays in very creative and resourceful ways while on quarantine. Two things got me as I back-read this draft and finally get to post it:

  1. Being able to gather together is a privilege I never got to appreciate in the same way I do now that it’s not currently allowed. I pray that when all this is over, we continue to live in community and not take for granted moments we can spend together, physically.
  2. It doesn’t matter how you prefer to celebrate life’s milestones, as long as you make those moments meaningful.

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