This past December we attended the children’s Christmas party at our local community center that was simply magical. Especially for our dear, sweet Camper who just loves animals. He just said goodbye to his golden 2’s and turned 3 and this past week. My heart burst watching him interact at the Children’s Christmas party when this homemade marionette puppets came out to interact with the children. It was actually on Corban’s first birthday – the year before we had planned to attend, but he decided to join us instead. This year we knew we couldn’t miss it. I’m so glad we did. It will truly be a family tradition for years to come. When we left that December evening we knew that for Camper’s third birthday this was what we had to do. So…we celebrated with a Puppets Please theme!
Camper was enthralled and with absolutely no inhibitions hugged, ever so gently, each puppet that came by. The audience sits on the floor, in the round; and get to view the puppets at eye level as they sing, dance, hug, and kiss the children watching. The puppeteers themselves are so sensitive and observant as to which children would prefer just to watch and which like to interact more personally. They also ease their way into the show ranging from quieter and less interaction to sillier and more interaction. This really lets the kids warm up to the puppets, and for the most part by the end of the show all the children have found a special way to personally interact and enjoy these magical creatures. The music and stories are priceless and I’ll truly never forget this special experience. Grateful for the photos that will remind our kiddos too! (Thanks to Dave who grabbed my camera and snagged some wonderful shots with a more knowledgeable hand .)
We chose this time no favors, or extras. We instead settled on good food, cupcakes, and to use what we had on hand to make the house feel festive. We also used some supplies we had in our craft collection so the kids could make paper bag (or sock) puppets and pulled our puppet theater tent and the puppets we have collected over the years so the kiddos to put on their own show afterwards.
We just knew after contacting the Puppets Please team that we should keep the rest of the party totally simple and that their marionette show would be the main course. We put in a few special requests since Camp couldn’t stop talking about the “duck who pooped an egg” and the “bear without his underpants.” The ladies (a mother-daughter team) made special alterations to their typical birthday party in order to bring those two acts along. They provided the beautiful velvet staging/curtain and their own sound system. We just made room for them and we are so grateful for their creativity and craft.
It was absolutely magical, and fascinating really, to see this many children ages 1-11 sit so still and captivated! Even the grownups couldn’t get enough.
We also decided that we’d invite a pile of kids so they could all see this awesome show, not just friends that were Camper’s age, since the puppet show is just that magical. To be honest besides watching Camper interact with the puppets – my favorite part was watching the parents as they watched their children. This was a party we will never forget. I hope you will check out Puppets Please if you are in the area and tell them we sent you. We want to fill the community center this December with children to show our gratitude for their magical trade.
Happy Birthday to our dear boy – who’s love for animals and art really shined through at this special birthday event. It really is our greatest joy to celebrate you and discover ways that are unique to your personality to mark these passing years.
Parenting these precious kiddos is God’s greatest gift to us, and we are eternally grateful. You can read about Camper’s birth here, just because I think it’s always fun to re-read and retell this story on their special day. Or you can see how we honored the passing of Camper’s golden birthday with a “farewell date” that included some of Camper’s favorite things – the beach and doughnuts! Or here is how we celebrated when Camp turned ONE since he was born on Dr. Seuss’s birthday!