I’ll be blunt, the idea of splashing £750 in one night fills me with dread.
It conjures unwelcome ‘morning after the night before’ images from the first time I ever got a student loan happily stuffed into my account or that recurring dream where I wake up in the back of a stolen Cadillac, with a wedding ring, a spider monkey and no wallet.
In both those cases however, we’re talking about my own money (or at least dosh I’ll have to give back at some point) – being gifted a bundle of banknotes and told to go build a bloody marvellous Big Night In on the other hand, well, that’s food for thought…
Clearly the most important thing about any shindig is a suitable cover story – nobody wants to attend a blowout you’re throwing ‘just because’ and luckily I’ve got that box ticked already.
Frank was born on the 2nd of November, for those in the know that’s All Souls Day over here or Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, admittedly I was aiming for Halloween but it’s gosh darn close enough.
This year he’ll turn two and be plenty old enough to appreciate the kick ass festival mash-up I could host with some free pennies from Two Little Fleas – it doesn’t hurt that the kid never sleeps so timing a toddler party for after sunset will suit him nicely.
We’ve built a pretty nifty bolt-hole for ourselves up here so I reckon the first hundred or so pounds would have to be spent transporting the family across the border (being that it’s the England/Scotland border it’ll be bandido attire optional).
I’m thrifty to a fault, a return train ticket is £46 with a valid pass – fingers crossed they’ve not lost them yet – we should get two generations safely into Edinburgh (and out again) for less than the petrol money one way.
We’re short of seating in our one bedroom so we would need to ‘pimp our floor’ – a wonderful pretext for investing in those cushions I’ve always wanted, throw in a few imported serapes and we’re on our way.
Half the fun of festivals are the decorations. These two in particular require going completely overboard without the added fuss of having to grapple a large Fir and its many breakable ornaments.
Colour is the order of the day, paper flowers, papel picado (featured below), beads, candles, merry looking skulls and knick-knacks on every available surface. All this can be ordered online from US based party retailers for about £80 including speedy shipping.
Traditionally there’s lots of DIY decor involved with both Halloween and The Day of the Dead, we’re not just talking pumpkins here, a quick web search and I’ve happened upon a number of toddler/child friendly crafts – as expected this will entail an expedition to the local craft store and an additional £50 gone from the budget.
Another thing that makes this a fantastic idea for a Big Night In, food I can actually eat!
With the use of maize flour for baked goods and playing heavy on seasonal fruit and veg, alongside a hearty dose of sugar – I doubt there will be an empty belly in the place regardless of varying food intolerances.
If I chuck on an apron and prepare to get down and dirty (with a little assistance from Mex Grocer) it can come in at a budget friendly £70…my one extravagance? Ordering a gluten free, chocolate fudge cake from the artisan bakers down the road…maybe something like this:
Which leaves us, what, about £450 quid going spare?
Then it’s entertainment time! I’m thinking face painting, flower crown making, pinata bashing jollity with some good ol’ fashioned apple bobbing and (my favourite) a mummy wrap relay…if you’ve never heard of it, let’s just say it involves a 24 pack of loo roll and is best done the other side of something spiced and alcoholic.
(Luckily we have a small garden at the back of the flat, so if the weather is clement our night in can venture briefly out).
Let’s add a new dress for moi, complete with acessories from Diablo Jo’s:
Doubtless there would be party bags but how about a wee gift for the guests who are out of nappies, seeing as we’re feeling so flush? Something from Neal’s Yard should suffice.
Anything left over once favors were taken care of would, as things often are in my life, be spent directly on Frankie.
A years pass to The Edinburgh Zoo, a passport and a Eurostar to Paris to visit his new cousin, a big boy bed? The present giving possibilities are endless.
I’m sure, even without a monetary windfall, my son’s big day will be awesome but it’s nice to dream…well, as long as monkeys aren’t involved.
Competition info can be found at LittleStuff.