An Elf Themed 1st Birthday Party – In August

There’s something you should know right from the start about our little baby Hayden; he loves to smile, and works on his smiling techniques about 95% of the day. He’s got his shy smile, his playful smile, his joyful smile that makes his little blue eyes twinkle. If smiling were an Olympic sport, he’d win the gold medal. Because of his infectious and ever present smile, we were struck with a bit of inspiration for the theme of his 1st birthday party. One of our favorite movies is Elf, and a classic line from the movie that we like to quote all the time is when Buddy the Elf tells his employer, “Smiling’s my favorite!” Because of this one little line from a Christmas movie, we decided to make the theme of our son’s 1st birthday, an Elf themed Christmas party, in August. Silly, and sort of random? Absolutely! But we’re known for being a little silly.

  • An Elf Themed 1st Birthday Party!

    An Elf Themed 1st Birthday Party!

    Click through to see how we managed to pull off a Christmas themed birthday party in the middle of August, and have some laughs and smiles along the way.

  • Red, Mint and White

    The invitations were designed by Heather Myers of River and Bridge. When we were discussing the design, I knew I wanted the elements and colors to read Christmas, but not be overpowering, so we settled on a clean and fresh color scheme of red and mint, and she created a cute happy birthday banner to hang in a central location in our home. Hung in the dining room, it was the perfect backdrop for all the other simple decorations and food table.

    Invitations, Thank You Cards & Banner by River and Bridge

  • Paper Chains

    Paper Chains

    Buddy the Elf’s infamous paper chains and snowflake decor were a key part of the movie, in several scenes. So we decided to replicate the scenes and made yards and yards of paper chains out of white copy paper. We also made some gingerbread man garland, and the kids made most of the snowflakes we hung. We created a “winter wonderland” in the middle of a 90 degree heatwave! This scene was the first thing the guests saw when they entered the party.

  • One Central Location For Decor

    One Central Location For Decor

    I tried not to go overboard with planning this party, and ended up cutting out a few of the things we were going to do, like a photo booth and craft station, because it was a 1st birthday party after all. So we limited decor to just one central spot, and set up the food and drink station in the center of it. We served a mix of turkey burgers and hot dogs, some homemade salads and dips, a fruit tray and lots of snacks, including POPCORN! I also made a batch of special Elf Elixir, which was lemonade, cranberry juice and ginger-ale.

  • Fresh Food For A Hot Day

    Fresh Food For A Hot Day

    The food choices were perfect for our heatwave we experienced, and by making a lot of the food myself I was able to control costs a bit, which tend to get out of control when I’m throwing a party!

  • Perfect Partyware

    Perfect Partyware

    Thankfully Target had the perfect party-ware to go along with our theme. Red and mint dinner and cake plates were set off by striped napkins and a polka dot paper table cloth. The effect was a cheerful and colorful setting that read Christmas, but didn’t scream it.

  • Dessert Station and Candy Bar

    Dessert Station and Candy Bar

    Since elves like to stick to the 4 main food groups — candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup — we of course had to have a sugary filled dessert and candy bar to fuel our guests! The candy bar actually served double duty, by allowing guests to pick little pieces of candy to satisfy their sweet tooth during the party, and as the parting goodie bag for kids. I set out clear bags and ties and let the kids take an assortment of candy. The pasta and syrup, a famous scene from the movie, were set out just for show and effect. I made the carrot cupcakes myself.

  • The Birthday Boy's Throne

    The Birthday Boy’s Throne

    I got really upset the morning of the party because I remembered that I hadn’t remembered to get him a birthday crown. Sounds so silly, and in the grand scheme of things, it was! But I still wanted to at least decorate his little high chair for the occasion, so added a simple bouquet of colorful balloons and a giant silver 1!

  • The Code Of Elves

    The Code Of Elves

    Guests outside were reminded of the code of elves: 1. Treat Everyday Like Christmas. 2. There’s Room For Everyone On the Nice List. 3. The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer Is Singing Loud For All To Hear. Again, this was a movie reference, which stumped a lot of people, but it was fun nonetheless!

  • Smash Cake

    Smash Cake

    We wanted to have a smaller smash cake with the coinciding theme, and so ordered this cute cake from a local bakery. We ended up cutting off a slice and serving the rest to guests, but it made for a cute and edible photo op!

  • First Bite

    First Bite

    Hayden’s first bite of cake was all pomp and circumstance! We have over 5 minutes of riveting cake eating footage, in which Hayden pretty much just looks back and forth at the cake, and the frosting on his fingers. Still cute and momentous nonetheless!

  • Happy Birthday My Little Smiling Elf!

    Happy Birthday My Little Smiling Elf!

    We couldn’t adore you more, and I loved every bit of planning, preparing and celebrating of your first birthday. You are my sweet little smiling elf, and I hope you never change!

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