Planning the “Oops, I Forgot Your Birthday” Party


Dessert with Sprinkles and CandleI realized a few months ago that my son’s birthday was six weeks away, so — feeling pleased with myself for remembering early — I started to think up party ideas with plenty of time to spare. I ran an idea by my husband, who quickly agreed, and then . . . I did nothing. Time got away from me, and the next thing I knew his birthday was four days away, we were on our way out of town for the weekend, and I had made zero plans.

I’m sure I am not the first mom to forget my kid’s birthday, and I probably won’t be the last. I’ve rounded up a few tips to help other moms who, like me, are well-intended but find themselves scrambling to plan a party at the last minute.

“Bigger is Better” Does Not Apply Here

I’m not exactly saying you should have low standards, but remember you’re doing well just to pull this thing together, amirite? Forget the crowd. Forget fancy. Throw a party at home, and keep it simple. Invite local family members or a few families your child is close with. If you want to provide a meal, burgers and hot dogs or pizza will be just fine. Cakes or cupcakes from your local grocery store bakery are sure to please. Keep in mind that your guests may not have time to purchase a gift, so it’s a good idea to suggest alternatives (such as gifting an experience) or to make sure they don’t feel obligated to bring gifts.

Birthday Table and Chairs

Minute to Win It Games Are Your Best Friend

Google “minute to win it games for kids,” and you’ll have dozens of options from which to choose. Many of these games are good for laughs and will keep guests of all ages entertained. My personal favorite is Junk in the Trunk! The best thing about minute to win it games? You probably already have much of what you need for these games at home — but if not, you can find just about anything else you’ll need for them at a dollar store. Which brings me to . . .

Dollar Tree for the Win

Because the party you didn’t plan is probably also the party you didn’t budget for. At Dollar Tree, you can pick up all or most of the basic party supplies. And hellllooooo dollar gift bags! (Am I the only one who is just discovering this?) The selection is huge, they are good quality, and they’re a dollar. I will admit, at my core I am a wrapping paper snob. Gift bags just don’t carry the same joyous effect. But I’m also a mom, and I know my ideals sometimes have to take a backseat to reality. 

No matter how perfectly planned or executed your child’s parties are, remember he probably won’t be thinking about those details years down the road. Don’t put undue stress on yourself if you haven’t met your own standards. Instead, make sure your little one knows you are celebrating his life, and try to focus on making lasting memories he can cherish forever.

What are your tips for pulling off a last-minute celebration?

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Nikki is a native Texan, originally from Cypress. After marrying her husband, Randall, and being convinced to move to the arctic (just kidding -- Michigan) for a few years, she is excited to be back in Texas thawing out and learning her way around Fort Worth! In 2015, Nikki and Randall decided to become foster parents, and she is now a stay-at-home mom to foster children, as well as long-distance stepmom to a teenage boy. She has been 'Mom' to six kids and counting, always wondering what (or who) the future will bring!


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