On Saturday we had a ball hosting a Chinese New Year party.
It was a fun date/theme for a BBQ get together with friends.
It was a real winner with the children of our friends too.
I was rapt when with each arrival of little people, we were greeted with the Cantonese
"gùng héi faat chōi"
They had been practising with their parents all week and looking forward to the party with so much anticipation. They brought us presents of lolly snakes in honour of the year of the water snake.
We hid some lollies around the garden and had the fairy garden lit with bud lights.
They all played in the cubby house and around the garden and the dogs were beside themselves with so much activity.
Just in case we needed indoor activities, I downloaded these from here but they ended up as going home gifts. I also had cardboard and glue and red cellophane ready for making Chinese lanterns too.
We got out picture books and fairy stories and the bamboo cards for fortune telling.
Mostly everyone was happy mixing outside and when it turned cooler and dinner had finished, we gathered around the fire pot
Made from an old enamelled inner bowl from a washing machine.
Craig's plane that he is building in the garage was also a popular male hangout spot during the hours. (Amazing how men love to congregate in sheds)
I love this photo that a young 13 yr old guest took of the lanterns swinging in the (high) wind as night descended. He has his own page for his photography and works for sale here.
Another reason we enjoyed the party so much was all the help we had with the night.
If someone offered to bring something, I took them up on the offer.
Some people were allocated a salad, or a dessert, or bread or even just a bag of chips.
In the past I have tried to do everything but allowing people to help when they wanted to really made the party a shared and joyful experience.
If people offered to help with the washing up,
I let them.
It made for some great conversation doing the dishes.
And boy were there dishes! I almost succumbed and bought plastic plates but neither Craig or I could bring ourselves to add to the plastic dilemma of the planet and when all is said and done, after hunting through cupboards I really do have more than fifty plates and bowls that I have bought inexpensively from the local op shop and was happy for them to be used outside. True to Murphy's Law, not a single 20c plate was broken.
I finally got to use "stuff" I had been storing in the cupboard for such a party for about 15 years now! Bits and bobs that had been purchased very inexpensively from China Town in Sydney. The children were rapt with the bundles of Chinese "money" that they got to take home and play with.
Too soon it ended.
Just when I got to sit down with a drink in front of the fire, people were starting to break up and wend their way home. We tend to have a large party every couple of years and the only thing I would love to do if I could afford it would be to hire staff to get the food out and clear away simply so that we could really enjoy every moment with our guests. Our aunty Lettie does that and she really gets to enjoy her time with her guests.
Have you got any great party tips to share?