My son, George's eleventh birthday party was great fun. Even the planning and preparation was enjoyable. George is really into Martial Arts and Samurai movies. So, I decided to celebrate his birthday with a Samurai 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 the boys to come dressed as Samurai and bring swimsuits.
The party was in the backyard on our wooden deck and in our swimming pool. I strung the paper lanterns I bought at a party store over the pool with a clothes line. I rented some oriental style props from a theater prop warehouse. We propped the plywood cut out of a pagoda against the side of the house. I hung a backdrop of Mt. 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 the boys would sit at on pillows from my couches.
I found some plastic Samurai swords at the party store and bought enough for all the boys plus an extra incase somebody broke theirs.
All of the boys arrived in costume. Some of the costumes looked like rentals; others looked like they had been hand made by their mothers, but 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.
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 loved it. If I had known they would like it so much I would have made more. I don't think I would've even tried fake sushi at George's age. They drank soda 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 Bob bought. They ate until they were stuffed.
After the meal George opened his presents. Then, the boys changed into their swim suits and jumped in the pool. The boys spent the rest of the day playing Marco polo and using the foam "noodle" pool toys as swords. By the time afternoon faded into dusk all the parents had returned to take their child home.
Later 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!