My daughter, Jennifer, is very shy and didn’t want the traditional Quinceañera party for her 15th birthday. After she agreed to a large family gathering at our church, I promised her an all-girl celebration at home and we decided on a pajama party theme.
The invitation I sent to all of Jennifer’s girlfriends was actually a small book. I photocopied pictures of Jen throughout her childhood, and wrote a story to go along with the photos. It told the tale of a treasured little girl who had grown into a beautiful young woman and needed her friends to help her celebrate “all night long.” I designed a cover for the book and had it bound at a copy center. I mailed them in manila envelopes that I also filled with lots of tiny “happy birthday” confetti.
All the girls arrived in their pajamas, as was requested. I had bought Jen a new pair of soft cotton pajamas – pink with little red hearts all over them – and matching fluffy slippers. The guests brought their sleeping bags and I cleared all the furniture out of the living room so the girls could sleep together on the floor in there. I hung streamers across doorways and purchased several dozen pink and white balloons from a party store to decorate the ceiling with. I should mention that my husband took our two younger sons to a hotel overnight so it would be just the girls, without any sibling interruption.
I bought a bottle of nail polish, nail files in funky designs, hand lotion, and nail care kits, for each girl so that they could give each other manicures and pedicures. I also purchased clay masks for facials, hair clips, face cream, and lip balm, for the girls to use and keep. I included another gift bag for each friend with a mini flashlight, bed-time story, fun toothbrush, toothpaste, and small stuffed animal, inside. Lastly, I bought a body art kit in case the girls wanted to get temporary tattoos. Jennifer was delighted with all the goodies, as they were a surprise to her. The kids got to work right away, giggling with glee while they did each other’s nails.
While they were busy, I prepared dinner. On the menu was chicken enchiladas, wild rice, chips and guacamole, and corn on the cob. I filled a large glass punch bowl with home made punch and had pretty glass handled cups for the girls to drink from. I set the food out buffet style so the girls could sit and eat wherever they liked. Once their nails were dry, they enjoyed the food and drink.
Jen and I had rented several movies for the girls to watch so after dinner we put the first movie on. They each grabbed their pillow and got comfortable on the couch or the floor and settled in to enjoy A Cinderella Story. What else do you eat at a slumber party? Popcorn, of course. I had visited the Farmer’s Market the day before to buy several bags of kettle corn – Jen’s favorite – so just had to pour it into bowls for the girls to enjoy. I served more punch and also handed out giant candy bars like you’d get at the movie theater. We dimmed the lights and sat enthralled for the next 90 minutes.
After the movie, the girls were a little restless so I took out a couple boxes of Twister that I bought at a toy store. We followed the instructions (yes, I got to play too) and had a fun time. Then the girls grabbed their pillows and had an impromptu pillow fight. I put some music on and let them go to town. When things quieted down the gang decided to get out the body painting and each girl received a small heart or flower or butterfly, on their choice of body parts. One of Jen’s friend’s is very artistic and became the tattoo artist of choice. I even got one on my ankle. The pamphlet in the kit said the art should last 7 – 10 days.
It was getting late now, but the girls were determined to stay up as much past midnight as possible. We decided another movie would be good and I put on 13 Going on 30. I didn’t think all the girls would stay awake until the end, but I was wrong. I think they got a second wind, because instead of wanting to go to sleep, they decided to get in their sleeping bags and tell ghost stories. I joined them, listening as best I could while trying to keep my eyes open. Finally the group was ready to turn out the lights and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Jen (her actually birthday now arrived.)
In the morning I made chocolate chip pancakes for everyone and put a candle in Jennifer’s stack. Hot chocolate was the drink of choice and we lounged around in our pajamas while watching one last movie. Afterwards, we gathered around and Jen opened up her birthday gifts. She received wonderful presents and thanked all of her good friends for being a part of her special day.
When we had said goodbye to the last guest, Jen and I plopped down together on the couch and she thanked me for making her birthday so memorable. It was the best party ever, she said, and we decided to stay in our pajamas all day.