Birthday Bonanza

Birthday Bonanza

There are some parties that are prepared out of habit, sometimes even out of duty. Jobs are divvied, menus created, the party comes and the party goes. Then there are the parties we create to commemorate a milestone, perhaps the birthday of a family matriarch, who has shaped us in so many ways, from how we’ve raised our children to how we stuff our cabbage and host our guests.

This party is about so much more than about grosgrain versus satin, live music versus stereo, or meat versus dairy. It’s about the celebration of a mother’s full life, and the attention we pay to planning it is just a representation of that appreciation.


Seating Plan

old pictures

In order to keep the focus on the birthday girl, we used pictures throughout her life and called each table after the year the photo was taken, e.g., “Table 1959.”

old pictures

Quote Favor Boxes 

Box with Quote

There’s nothing quite like a quote that resonates with the circumstances to lift spirits, encourage laughter, and add meaning to a party. The quotes were also a great way to tie together the elements of celebrating a milestone and creative party planning. Each seat had a box with a quote about motherhood on it.


Box with Quote

Favor Box

A Gift to Mom


It’s often difficult to gift the woman who constantly refuses to be gifted! This caricature was given by a friend and her family to their mother a few years ago. This personal yet humorous gift was the perfect balance for them. The caricature includes fun details specific to the subject — details accumulated over the subject’s lifetime.

This drawing by Vivi Keilson can be ordered from anywhere and e-mailed as a printable image, or picked up in the original. I’ve also seen Vivi do adorable drawings for a bar or bas mitzvah.



Graphics by The Stamp Studio,

Popcorn by Popinsanity, 

Favor Box Wall by

Cutlery and Glasses by Set Your Table

Caricature by Vivi Kielson,

This article originally appeared in The Family First Magazine.

Photography by Hudi Greenberger


Birthday Bonanza

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