Party Genes: Where Did You Get Yours?

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I'm not talking about your favorite pair of jeans (but if you've found the perfect pair, do tell!). I'm talking about why you party the way you do, and who taught you. I came across my baby book recently, and lost about an hour in the pages. As the first daughter, I was the recipient of some pretty intense birthday parties and a meticulous mother who recorded it all, including my height and weight the year of each party. 

The parties were memorable. For my fourth birthday, my parents set up a home theater, no small feat in the late seventies. With the projector carefully aimed at the starched sheet hung on the wall, they had to start the reel and press "play" on the tape player at the exact same moment. Where they got the Woody Woodpecker reel remains a mystery and a miracle.

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My fifth birthday called for a more mature theme, "Come as Your Mother" — seen in the top photo of this post. I have a vague recollection that this was a thing when I was young (a subtle indication that our mothers had healthy egos). The tables were set with flowers, pretty napkins and a special meal. The menu is recorded, of course — fried chicken, carrot and celery sticks, peanut butter and jelly squares, fruit salad and pink lemonade. Nice job, Mom!

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Not every party was obsessively planned. When my sixth birthday arrived, my mother had a toddler underfoot and another baby due in two weeks. Her sanity and health came first, and I was thrilled to have my party in a fancy restaurant. Mother was a big DIYer when it came to birthdays and this luxury was completely unknown to me. She was a little too busy to record the details.

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Much like my mother, I love a fancy soiree, but a party's a party, and pizza with friends is just as much fun. Looking through the baby book made me think I should keep a journal, recording fun details of every gathering. (I will not, however, record my height and weight at the time of the party, because...yeah.)

Do you keep track of your gatherings in any way? And am I the only person whose mother wrote in her baby book like it was a social column in a small town newspaper?

Related: Preserving Memories: Kitchen Notebooks and Family Cookbooks

(Images: Anne Postic)

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