My son George's eleventh birthday party was memorable and great fun. Even the planning and preparation were enjoyable. George is really into Martial Arts and Samurai movies and so I decided to celebrate his birthday with this theme.
There was a traditional picture of a Samurai on the invitation's cover. Inside was the important party information like location, date and time, as well as instructions for the boys to come dressed as Samurai and bring their swimsuits.
The party was held in our back garden where we are lucky enough to have a swimming pool. I strung paper lanterns that I had bought at a party shop over the pool with a clothes line. I had also rented some oriental style props from a local theatre prop warehouse. We propped the plywood cut out of a pagoda against the side of the house. I hung a backdrop of Mount Fuji with cherry blossoms in the foreground next to it. Both looked very nice. My husband moved the modern patio furniture off the deck and I replaced it with a low table and the boys could sit at it on pillows from my sofas.
I found some plastic Samurai swords at the party shop and bought enough for all the boys, plus an extra in case somebody broke theirs.
All of the boys arrived in costume. Some of the costumes had been rented but others looked like they had been hand made by their mothers. They all looked great. The videographer started recording the minute they arrived. I took lots of photos during the sword tournament for best Samurai. Billy, George's best friend, beat every single opponent. He said it was because he's taking fencing lessons. George is now begging me to take lessons too.
The boys were getting hungry from all the sword play so I served lunch. My husband, Bob, barbecued some hot dogs and hamburgers. I made special sushi using imitation crab meat instead of raw fish and the boys really loved it. If I had known they would like it so much I would have made more. They drank coke and "Samurai punch" out of sake cups.
For dessert I brought out the cake Bob had decorated with two crossed Samurai swords. He used a picture from one of George's martial arts magazines. "Happy Birthday George" was written beneath the swords. The kids loved the chocolate peanut butter ice-cream we served with the cake. They ate until they were stuffed.
After the meal George opened his presents. Then, the boys changed into their swimming trunks and jumped in the pool. The boys spent an hour playing in the water until the martial arts instructor I had hired arrived with one of his students to give a demonstration of various forms of martial art. The boys sat on their towels on the grass and watched intently.
By the time afternoon faded into dusk all the parents had returned to take their child home. Each of the boys left with a samurai party bag, filled with sweets, chocolates and other small martial arts themed gifts.
ater that week, I sent copies of the video tape to each guest. George has his first fencing lesson a week from Tuesday. I've never seen him so excited!