Last year my daughter, Jessica, threw a Mother's Day party for the family and some of her neighbours. Since she doesn't have any kids yet, she took it upon herself to include those friends whose mothers live out of town and whose kids are too young to plan something on their own. She decided on a Mexican Fiesta theme.
Jessica decided to send invitations out a couple of weeks before Mother's Day. She thought a late afternoon fiesta would be best so families could spend time alone in the morning. The invite was hand written on bright yellow card and attached to the stem of a large, colourful, crepe paper flower. Jessica hand delivered the invitations to the mums invited. Besides our family, she included four families in the neighbourhood. The turnout would be large, with all the kids and adults.
The house was full of party decorations that set a Mexican mood. Wonderful Mexican music, by Los Lobos, Santana, Ozomatli, and others, was heard indoors and out. Red, white, yellow, and green streamers were hung all over the house. Huge paper flowers in large terracotta pots, gathered with red raffia ribbon, had been placed on the coffee table, side table, dining tables, and kitchen counter. Sombreros hung over chairs and sat on the heads of anyone who would wear one. In the garden tiny white lights were strewn across the patio cover, and two large piñatas hung from the patio roof. It was very festive and colourful.
The main attraction, however, was the Mexican buffet my daughter put on. There was enough food for an army and the choices were plentiful. Jessica set up two long tables in the back garden. She covered them with a plain red tablecloth and then laid small colourful blankets with tassels on the ends the short way across. Now where to begin? There was chips and salsa. There was guacamole and sour cream. There were corn and flour tortillas and taco shells. The toppings and fillings included bowls of refried beans, black beans, shredded beef, shredded chicken, cheese, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, diced red peppers and corn. Taquitos and Caesar salad rounded out the feast.
My son-in-law served as bartender and mixed up delicious strawberry and banana margaritas (virgin for the kids), and sangria. There was also plenty of soda and water. The drinks were served in bright coloured plastic cups. We sat around wherever there was a spot and got to mingle with lots of different people. All the kids had a great time piling their plates with different food, and felt very grown up drinking the blended beverages. My daughter and son-in-law were very gracious, making sure all of the mums were well taken care of.
After dinner, Jessica brought out two large orange tubs filled with musical instruments. Bells, tambourines, maracas, rhythm sticks, drums, harmonicas, and sandpaper blocks for rubbing together, were offered to the kids and adults for a little musical fun. The children got together and decided to entertain us with a marching band. They formed a line and weaved in and out amongst the grown-ups. They were giggling and smiling which in turn made us all smile.
When the musicians got tired, it was time for the piñatas. Jessica had two – one for the kids and one for the adults. The kids went first, hitting the piñata with a bat. The piñata was pulled up and down by a rope to make it a little more difficult to make contact with. Every child got a turn and then the line repeated. Finally it was broken and the kids all dove for the sweets and chocolate treats. For the grown-ups, the piñata was stationary but we were blindfolded and spun around three times. The kids had a good laugh watching us try to swing at the piñata. It took quite a few tries before the piñata broke and our treats fell out. We were of course much more civil than the children in gathering our loot.
Jessica made a delicious flan for dessert. She also offered chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate brownies. Coffee and hot chocolate were available and we all enjoyed sitting around, eating, and drinking. My wonderful daughter presented each mum with a margarita glass hand painted with flowers and filled with small chocolates to take home as a small keepsake. She wrapped each one with cellophane and tied them with raffia ribbon. Each child got to pick a paper flower or other decoration (the sombreros were popular) to take home.
Mother's Day was a great celebration of family and friends and the fiesta was the perfect party theme to please everyone. I felt lucky to have such a special daughter who is also such a good friend. I couldn't leave without whispering in Jessica's ear, that maybe next year she'd be celebrating the day herself.