Since we were still wallowing in Christmas, we didn't really take a lot of time to plan a birthday "theme" for his family only get-together. But we happened to be wandering through Costco a few days before his birthday and this little book caught both of our eyes (on both of us. I'll let you process that for a moment...)
Giving it a quick thumb through I decided for $10 it was worth it. It's stuffed with great ideas! The tip of spooning all of your cake batter into one large ziploc, cutting off a small bit of the corner and squeezing the batter into those mini cupcake pans rather than trying to fill them "2/3 full" with a spoon and slobbery index finger was worth the MSRP. The entire book is that way - telling you, with detailed and luscious step-by-step photography, how to create an array of impressive mini cakes with simple tools you already have (remember those ziplocs?) ingredients like canned frosting, spiffed up cake mixes, packaged cookies and candies you can usually find at a gas station convenience store. Yes, well worth the purchase.
Anyway - after pouring over the book for an hour on the drive home, Jacob settled on the "Popcorn" cupcakes (made with mini yellow and white marshmallows, canned frosting and popcorn containers both borrowed from a friend - which is probably how this "me first" thing started - and purchased at the Target Dollar Spot long ago) and a "Movie Night" theme was born.
He picked a movie to be shown (Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian,) we made a favorite dinner, (veggie cheeseburgers with the works and tater tots,) whipped up some Popcorn cupcakes, (with about 200 pieces of "popcorn" made from mini marshmallows) and assembled a collection of movie candies of both the "regular" and "sugar free" variety for all his guests.
It was a very casual evening - opening gifts around the dinning room table with his four grandparents, mom and dad and brother and sister.
Aside from the usual "Webkinz" (that he seems to receive at any time he receives a gift) and some new family games for game night, his most favorite gift was this little magnetic letter "thing" that I picked up for a buck and a quarter at Wal-Mart in the after Christmas clearance aisle.
It was one of those things from the "I-have-no-idea-what-to-give-my-dad-without-spending-any-significant-money" bin. And at 75% off, if was quite affordable. I wish I'd bought a dozen of them now instead of spending all that other guilt money.
Well - I'm sure there's more to say... but I'm up against the "me first" clock now and have to hit the publish button.
Hang around... You never know what depths I'll sink to...