I have mentioned before that I was quite upset that Ryder would have to share his birthday with Christmas which may explain why I put a lot of pressure on myself for his first birthday. Of course our little miracle deserved to be celebrated, but I wanted it to be spectacular! I started thinking about party themes a while back, and I figured his first birthday is probably the only birthday where I can get away with a Christmas theme! We have often joked that Ryder and our dog Scooter are like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, so there you had a it! A Charlie Brown Christmas birthday theme was born.
Well as you can imagine, this isn’t a common theme for a birthday, and decorations were hard to come by. I knew I didn’t want to do a lot of handmade stuff since his birthday was right after Christmas and we would be busy. I scoured Pinterest for ideas, but like I said this was kind of a unique theme. I was fortunate to find a shirt in an Etsy shop and went from there for my inspiration. I probably waited a little too late, but I also found a shop in Etsy that could execute my vision for the decorations as well. We ordered Ryder’s smash cake, but a friend made the cupcakes for us. I will share more details with the photos below.
Initially I wanted to have the party at our house or my parent’s house. I was VERY nervous that the weather wouldn’t cooperate, and that people couldn’t make it to my parent’s house in Ransom Canyon. When I made the guest list I realized that we would have about 30 people too many to fit in our house. My parents generously offered to pay for us to have the party at an outside location. I never thought about it before, but December birthdays are indoor parties so all of the typical party places booked up fast! The Science Spectrum was not booked, fortunately, so we scooped a spot right up. It really turned out to be a fantastic location for the kids and adults. I was nervous Ryder would be too young to play, but they had a little crawlers area and he had a ball! The other kids had a blast playing as well. The Science Spectrum provided the room, balloons, and a little presentation with animals. Our host was great and very accommodating.
Before I share pictures, I have to say that Ryder’s birthday started off kind of rocky! I had a respiratory infection earlier in the week, and the day before Ryder’s birthday I had broken out in a few hives. Well I did not sleep at all the night before Ryder’s party because despite Benadryl, I had broken out in hives head to toe. My skin was on fire! As soon as the clinic was open I was standing in line to be seen. We are talking just hours before my baby’s first birthday party me sitting, itching to death, in a busy clinic full of the flu. Talk about a panic attack. Again, my parents jumped in to save the day. My poor dad ran all over town running errands for us, and Chad as well. My mom helped with Ryder and helped me get party stuff ready. So two hours later, I had a shot and prescriptions and instructions and I was on my way. I was so frazzled and rushed before the party, though, that I did not take any meds until after it was over. At least I was wearing long sleeves and jeans so no one could see! On his birth day Chad had a stomach bug and Ryder was 8 weeks early! His first birthday I had hives and had to go to the clinic… eek! I hope this isn’t an indication of Ryder’s birthdays to come! Ha! His first birthday did turn out to be pretty wonderful, though!
Now for the pictures! I ordered the invitations, door sign, cupcake toppers, favor tags, and banners from Emerald City Paperie on Etsy. They had a party pack with a Charlie Brown theme, so I just worked with them to incorporate that with the Christmas theme as well. I was really nervous we wouldn’t get these in time, but they were great to work with! It may have been down to the wire, but the product quality was excellent. I love how everything turned out! It was just what I wanted. I was so excited that we had all of Ryder’s monthly pictures in his little red chair from my aunt Cindy. It was crazy to look at how much he has grown! For the adult treat bags, we included some M&Ms, jelly beans, Christmas candies, candy canes, and some chocolate dipped pretzel sticks that I made.
I ordered Ryder’s shirt from StaSweet Custom Stiches on Etsy. It arrived so fast, and she customized it just how I wanted! I ordered Ryder’s bib from RADified baby on Etsy. She made and shipped his bib on the same day!
I used a few Charlie Brown trees and a snow globe for decorations. I also used a Charlie Brown Christmas Story book as the guest book. I wanted to have a keepsake for Ryder from his first birthday.
I probably went overboard for the food, but I aim to please! Our family friend, Lindy Williams of The Sweet Life, made the cupcakes! They were soooo good! I made some candy cake rice krispies treats by just crushing up some candy canes and mixing them in. I also made some munchkin donut hole fruit skewers. I had seen these fruit skewers with donut holes on Pinterest a while back, and they have been a hit every time I have made them. We used Dunkin Donut “munchkins” since that is our nickname for Ryder. They were pretty tasty! We also brought some Strawberry Italian Ice and Chocolate Ice Cream from Blue Oasis, Ryder’s favorite. The smash cake was from The Cakery here in Lubbock. I couldn’t believe how cute it turned out! It was also a great price. I highly recommend them! The only downer at Ryder’s party was when Ryder put the candle out with his fingers. While it seemed like a cool trick at the time, a long pause later and poor guy was feeling it. Ugh, talk about heart breaking. He did finally recover and took a few bites of the smash cake from his momma’s lap. We let him go at it again the next day at home, and it was a total success!
We put all of the gifts in Ryder’s new wagon! That is what we got him for his birthday. The best card was from my cousin, W.E. So thoughtful! After I helped Ryder open presents, they did a short presentation with a few animals. It was adorable to see the kiddos watch. Poor Kate was terrified of the snake!
Once we got everything cleaned up, we were ready to play! The kiddos wore themselves out, so that’s a win! Ryder had so much fun crawling through the little tunnels, and the older kids had fun with the bubbles and water. We will definitely have to look into a membership!
All in all, it was a wonderful celebration. We were blessed that so many of our friend’s and family came! I was especially excited that my bestie and her family who live in Arizona now were in town for the party! She was headed out of town the day I had Ryder last year, so it was really special for me to have her and her family at Ryder’s 1st birthday. I probably won’t wait until the last minute next year to find a location and order the décor, but I at least I have a game plan now!
I’ll leave you with Ryder’s thank you notes that I just finished up writing today 😉