Those “in the know” know that there is one thing you can always be certain of on my birthday – a costume party. Over the past 15 years, we’ve lived in various corners of the globe and without fail, someone makes a big deal out of my birthday: family, friends, even complete strangers. There’s decorations, piles of food, candy, cake, cookies, candies, silly games and, without fail, costumes. This year was no exception, as soon as the Beijing Kids Club found out that October 31 was my birthday, they set about organizing a birthday bash fit for a king. Of course, they went with that tried and true standby, the Halloween costume party as the theme. Not that I blame them, it is a catchy concept for a party, especially in the fall.
Not wishing to offend party goers, we dressed up Reina, she waffled between a witch and a fairy for two weeks and finally settled on a jester outfit, Savvy donned a novelty hat on her head and I managed to put on a clean shirt; it’s my birthday, I don’t have to dress up in a costume if I don’t want to.
The party was fabulous from the location at the Hilton to the decorations to the games and everything in between. Granted, it was geared towards the children for some reason (I guess the BJ Kid’s Club thinks I’m a bit immature – or perhaps it is a reflection of my friends). At any rate, Reina enjoyed getting candy, hearing stories for candy, getting her photo taken for candy, making a ghost – out of candy, guessing how much candy was in a jar and, hard to imagine, she even liked eating some candy. I should point out that Reina rarely gets candy, almost never finishes candy and generally is not to crazy about candy. Unless it’s chocolate, in which case, she will eat the chocolate until it is all gone and then take yours too. Although I was partial to the peanut M&Ms (I surreptitiously made rounds and hoarded them all), the big hit was the Bonbon Bins’ delectable gummies and lollies and the fresh DYI candied apples from A Food Affaire. Both of these Beijing grown companies put out quality treats to tempt any sweet tooth (note: please contact publisher for my mailing address for some of that sweet sweet kickback).
All in all, it was a nice way to celebrate my birthday in Beijing with some of my closest friends, their friends and a slew of complete strangers. We all had a good time, though Reina was too tired to go upstairs for the trick or treating, and even made some new friends. Still, I think next year we should include some kind of mandatory birthday gift policy as I think some people lost sight of the whole point of the party.