Sunday’s Quiet, Intimate Birthday Celebration For Our Toddler


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As I’ve written earlier in my post, we decided not to have a big children’s party for our three-year-old. Yes. I’m officially a mom to the so-called terrible three. We had planned to skip the big celebrations after Kai’s first birthday and agreed to make it a tradition to get out of town for his birthday. While I think it’s fun to have friends, as well as their kids, around, we still prefer to have an intimate birthday celebration.

Personally, we think that it’s too over-stimulating at this age and not to mention – planning can be really overwhelming. I salute those parents, though, who can make it big every year. That’s just not our cup of tea, I think, for our little boy.

But even without the loud music, the emcees, the clowns or magicians, the multiple food selections, the dozens and dozens of balloons, you can still make memories on your toddler’s birthday. The awesome thing is that you get to do less with an intimate birthday celebration but you got a lot more – the fun in your kid’s eyes and the genuine laughter.

Family guests

So yes, we had a total of like 13 people over for Kai’s third birthday – his uncle and aunts, his only cousin in the Philippines, my bestfriend and her five-year-old, my bestfriend’s sister and her boyfriend, and of course the grandmas and the only grandpa in the house. These are the people Kai is in constant contact with – with the exception of my bff’s son – so that means he’s comfortable with them.

Max wanting to hug Kai.
The cousins.

My childhood BFF and I live far from each other and we’re both busy moms; we only communicate through Facebook. Kai and her boy have met three times or so but that was when they were younger. Still, I told Kai about him and briefed him that Max is coming over. My boy started saying territorial remarks but once Max arrived, they hit it off. But honestly, kids are kids, and there were moments of teasing and bickering between the two. Still, nothing’s more precious when you see both enjoying going down the slide together and having fun while playing.

Going DIY for an Intimate Birthday Celebration

That’s always the case for an intimate birthday celebration, yeah? I did most of the very simple décor – but with some assistance from the househelp. I don’t want anything too fancy or elaborate so here’s what it looked like. It’s the best I can come up with.

The Food

You can always go for short orders or order a party meal takeout from a restaurant if you go for an intimate birthday celebration. We only had two kilos of lechon, a 1/2kilo spaghetti cooked by my sister, the awesome Fresh Lumpia (the best in town), crabs and shrimp (cooked by me) and desserts! The great thing is that my family was thoughtful enough to bring something along. There’s more for everyone then!

Let the kids play

We had already prepared Kai’s room/playroom days before his birthday. It was just the right time for us to buy a new AC unit so the kids can play inside. There were only three kids in the room but the area is filled with laughter and happy screams from little ones. They played with the iPad, the blocks, Kai’s toys, the slide.

Our three-year-old enjoying an intimate birthday celebration

Kai’s cousin was more behaved but you can’t stop the two hyperactive boys from being everywhere. I can see it, I saw it – Kai had a great time even with just two kids to play with.

We may not have lots of people over but I’m certain Kai was genuinely happy because he’s surrounded by people he knows and is comfortable with. It was a success and it was hassle-free. We knew so well what makes Kai happy and it was having “his people” around. Birthday celebrations don’t really have to be elegant all the time because what matters is that you get to celebrate it with people who truly care about your kid. Most importantly, you’ll know that your little one is genuinely happy.

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