I can throw a helluva kid’s party—for real. I mean, I go all out, you heard? Mari’s first soiree was an all-white party in the middle of an animal reserve we dubbed “The Secret Garden,” and for her second, I invited all of her friends to “buzz on over” with their blankets for a lady bug picnic in our backyard. By her fourth, I was hand-rolling marzipan daisies for a really live garden of flower cupcakes I served up at a backyard carnival replete with homemade games, personalized t-shirts, and enough food to feed a small army of preschoolers and their ‘rents. And don't get me started on my annual Halloween parties; what do you know about neighborhood costume parades and spooky basement antics? Let's just say the kiddies who came to my New Jersey spooktaculars are still talking about them!
Of course, I'm a creative being, but I forced to be that way. I mean, until the MyBrownBaby Princess and the Frog Party I threw for Mari, Lila, and a few of their buddies last year, there really weren’t ANY party supplies—from invitations to decorations to plates, napkins and banners—that featured children who looked like mine—chocolate brown girls with curly hair. So princess themes were out. Same for anything having to do with ballet. Barbie was a no-go. Indeed, we were stuck with generic party decorations—lady bugs or flowers or just fancy colors—to illustrate the joy we were trying to create for our little ladies. And for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why somebody—anybody—couldn’t just break down and make a plate, a napkin, a balloon—hell, anything!—with a little black girl’s face on it so that African American children could celebrate themselves at their own birthday parties, just like every other child.
There is one company that is trying to help a sistah out. Birthday in a Box, an online store that packages and ships more than 100 high-quality, imaginative children’s party kits, wants to up the ante on the offerings they have for black parents. So they’ve put together a survey they want African American moms and moms of children of color to take to gauge what, exactly, we’d like to see in party kits featuring our kids. And get this: They’re giving away a $50 gift certificate for www.birthdayinabox.com to one lucky MyBrownBaby reader to find out. Simply take the quick and easy three-minute survey (it really is only three minutes, promise—I did it, too!), sign up to receive BIAB's weekly newsletter (full of great party planning tips and ideas like this sleepover party I’m totally going to hook up for Mari and Lila’s next birthday bash) and you're done!
In the meantime, check out some of the super cute multicultural offerings Birthday In a Box already has online, and click around the site for some great party ideas.
Thanks for participating!