Cheap, But Elegant Birthday Decorating

I love to decorate for birthdays,
and make the day feel special for my children,
but am a little miserly about spending money on
things I’m  going to throw away.
Each package of plates, cups, napkins, silverware
and party favors can cost $3-$4 at a party store.
They come in stingy little packages of 8,
so sometimes one is not enough for our celebrations.
It’s like throwing away money.
I was feeling bad that I didn’t have time to run to the dollar store,
my favorite place for party supplies,
in time to decorate for Bethany’s 20th birthday.
She was celebrating a step closer to adulthood,
and I was celebrating the fact that I will
NEVER AGAIN
have three teenagers living in my house
at the same time.
Then again, I just reminded myself that I have
three children over 20.
Now I feel old.
Then I remembered the treasures I’ve been buying for Thanksgiving.
I blogged about this meal 216 days ahead of time.
(Yea, I have been planning for the past nine months.
My MIL is coming for the first Thanksgiving in 24 years of marriage.)
I had a vision of making the table beautiful and elegant,
like my daughter, with my newfound  treasures.
I pulled out the gold chargers from a thrift store
in Helena, MT this summer for $.25 each.
They were topped with the gold trimmed china plates I found
10 for $7 in Fargo, North Dakota this summer.
The gold goblets, about $.50 each, were added.
Thrift store goblets cost less than a package
of paper colored cups from the party store.
Gold napkins were gently bound with a simple piece of lace,
clasped together with vintage earrings.
There wasn’t enough time to fuss more,
but I dreamed about using more vintage jewelry
and putting bows on the chairs.
Maybe for Thanksgiving.
Afterall, this was a trial run.
I have 59 days left until my MIL comes.
But, who’s counting?
I am counting
on a lot more beautiful family dinners,
without counting out any more dollars for decorating.
And I am counting
on Bethany having a wonderful year,
growing in grace in the Lord Jesus.

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5 Responses to Cheap, But Elegant Birthday Decorating

  1. BuffinMuffin September 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Thanks so much mom! Its looked fabulous!

  2. ~ Tandis ~ September 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    What a resourceful lady you are :)I think doing the elegant look for a 20th birthday is wonderful!! 20 is no dollar store number, right? ;)Happy (late) birthday Bethany!

  3. Taylor September 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Happy Birthday to Bethany! And good luck on your Thanksgiving dinner! I am hosting a Christmas dinner for the first time ever this year! yikes. Maybe I should start planning. 🙂

  4. Joyfull September 29, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    WOW!! I am so impressed! I also struggle with the cost of paper birthday decorations. Those are some creative and beautiful ideas. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see your Thanksgiving dinner. Hope the birthday was extra special!

  5. lisasmith September 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I love the earring thing on napkins!!! I just love this!!! What a beautiful table and even more beautiful daughter!!

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