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May the Party Be With You: A Star Wars Shindig

I hear there’s a small, low-budget film coming out today.

{insert all the crying laughing emojis}

Star Wars has been a film for the ages, literally. Just about every boy I know (and his dad) loves the film and all those Yoda quotes. Throw in a light saber war and they’re fans for life. But, this party I’m about to share is no ordinary shindig. Yes, it has all the usual suspects of a Whitaker party, but the recipient and how it all came about is a whole other story.

A few months ago, one of the boys in our school community lost his mom to cancer. He’s 10. And an only child. That death was right on the heels of two other tragedies at our school, both involving deaths. The grief was so heavy, y’all. I had to do something. When one of the moms mentioned Seth’s birthday was coming up, all the light bulbs went off. Before I could even think, I blurted out:

“We have to throw that boy an epic birthday party.”

And so we did.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

I called everyone I could think of to make this party awesome. Every single one of them said yes. Nearly a dozen businesses gave of their time, their products and their services. “How can I say no?” they said. “If it were my child, I would want the same love showered upon him,” they all told me. Almost 20 families pitched in with food, labor and lots of love. Honestly? This was the party of all parties. I’m not sure if I will ever witness the enormity of that love again. It was a magnificent day. The force was most definitely with us.

Printables
Invitations weren’t my usual “put in the mail” kind, but I found a great electronic option via Evite and uploaded a Star Wars image to go with it. Because the entire class, plus siblings, was invited it made logistics so much easier to track party goers electronically. For everything else, I used these free printables (they were golden!) and got all the name ideas from St. Pinterest, all while lighting up my Star Wars board!Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

Food
It’s not a party without sugar, I say. And we had plenty. In keeping with the spirit of all things galactic, may I present “the spread.”

Jedi Cupcakes
Wookie Cookies
Edible Ewoks (teddy grahams)
Padawan Popcorn
Thermal Detonators (cheese puff balls)
Hans Rolos
Obie Wan Kabobies (assorted fruit on skewers)
Light Sabers (grapes on skewers)
Cloud City Pops (strawberry & mini white marshmallows, topped with icing and sprinkles)
Stormtroopers (drawn with edible marker on white marshmallows)
Yoda Soda (recipe below)
Swamp Water
Pizza and Wings

Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

It’s at this point I had to stop. Like Harry Potter, the ideas were endless. The cupcakes and cookies (all donated by my favorite bakers) alone almost did me in. A local pizza place graciously gave us a dozen pizzas and a wings joint provided two boxes of wings. Alamo Drafthouse was so kind in offering Seth and his dad SIX tickets to the show. A party rental company lent us their games. A photographer donated her talents (aren’t these photos amazing?) and a party planner helped me make it awesome. The generosity, it just kept coming. Almost 20 parents humored me and my “wish list” of food items and grand ideas for the party and gave, in buckets, of their treasure, their talent and their time.

Crying yet?Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl. Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

Party Favors
Bubble wands + paint = light sabers. A sweet friend (hey Lisa!) was my painting buddy and we whipped these out in about an hour. I let them dry overnight, then affixed the thank you tags for all Seth’s friends. You can find the wands on Amazon, awesome friends who paint with you are not included. I “borrowed” the boys’ lego bins to hold the light sabers and placed the favors on the gift table.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl. Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl. Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

Games
I should’ve known when you get a bunch of boys and their siblings together, the bean bag “toss” becomes “dodge the bean bag.” Fun was our mission, so dodge bean bag it was. The Dominican Sisters helped us keep the kids in line because they’re awesome like that.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

In addition, we had two inflatables which the younger kids adored and we hosted the party at a park, full of wide open spaces to run, a huge play set and lots of places to hang with your buddies. Plus, our November weather in Texas was a gorgeous 65 and sunny. Trust me, I was sweating it. At 8am, we had a torrential downpour, at 11am it cleared out and at 2pm? The sun came out, big and bright. God knew we needed it.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

The day was full of surprises, like this awesome sign wishing Seth the best of days, complete with light sabers. Have a Star Wars fan in your life? This party is full of food ideas, party games, fun details and creative party favors to make your Jedi Knight one happy boy or girl.

As for the birthday boy, I think he was truly surprised. And happy. When another mom, who lost her mom at a young age, told me her worst birthday ever was the first one after her mother’s death I knew we were doing the right thing. This party wasn’t about making Seth forget his mom’s absence, it was about reminding him how much he’s loved. I’ve chosen not to show any photos of him because we have a few surprises up our sleeve.

To every one of you – friends, moms, schoolmates, vendors and teachers – who made this day happen: THANK YOU. Thank you for making a sweet, kind, smart, funny, intuitive little boy’s birthday spectacular. You made a difference, a true and beautiful one, on a gorgeous day in November to a great kid named Seth.

To the rest of you? This is my challenge for you. Go use your gifts to bring someone joy. God gives us all a gift and when someone’s suffering, when they need to be lifted up, go bless them with the gift God gave you. It’s the very best way to tell Him thanks. And to Seth? Happy birthday, buddy. I hope you feel that love for the rest of your life.

Yoda Soda
2 liters of Sprite
1 pint of lime sherbert
3-4 limes, sliced
Put the sherbert in the drink container first, then slowly pour the Sprite over the top, drop in lime slices. Let sit a few minutes and serve. Be prepared to make more (in a hurry) because this stuff never lasts!

Vendor Credits
Cupcakes: Polkadots
Cookies: Sweet Spot Cookie Shoppe
Photography: Shannon Cunningham of Photo Frolic
Party Rentals (games): It’s Party Time Express
Event Design: MINT Event Design
Star Wars Movie Tickets: Alamo Drafthouse, Lakeline
Yard Sign: Austin Yard Cards
Pizza: Austin’s Pizza, Cedar Park
Wings: Pluckers

17 Comments

  1. Ann-Marie on December 18, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Awesome. Truly. I love when people pull together and do the right thing. What a blessing to him, and to all those who were able to participate.

  2. Sherry on December 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Kathryn – What you all did as a community is so beautiful. I really hope a beautiful scrapbook of this event is in Seth’s future. Maybe Santa could leave it under the tree for him? Then he can remember and cherish these memories for years to come. God bless you and everyone who made such a wonderful event happy for this deserving little boy.

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Indeed it is. I am on it!

  3. Nicole on December 18, 2015 at 9:08 am

    EPIC! That is the only word to describe such a fantastic party.

    The tears didn’t come until the very end for me. I was too busy smiling at all the talent, generosity, planning, smiling partygoers, and touches that made the day great. I can’t imagine losing a parent at a young age. Seth is one lucky boy to be surrounded by the loving community that came together to lift him up. His mother would be proud. God bless you and the army that pulled that together. Merry Christmas!

  4. Verdina on December 18, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Oh, Kathryn! You continually amaze me! And your awesome community!

    You’ve made my eyes leak again (in a good way)!

    Love you!
    V

  5. Kimberly on December 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    “Crying yet?” made me chuckle because I WAS crying! Such a great post, I love when my faith in humanity is restored. I know Seth felt loved with such an awesome birthday!

  6. Joanna on December 18, 2015 at 11:15 am

    My sister died suddenly on Good Friday of this year leaving 3 amazing boys in pain. We have been so blessed by the community support for her husband and boys. Thank you for what you did for Seth on behalf of his mother’s family.

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Joanna, I am so very sorry to hear of your family’s tragic loss. But, I am grateful to hear you and your family are surrounded by a loving community. I’ve seen just how much that can lift spirits and make a difference. It has been humbling to watch. What we did for Seth was one of my greatest honors, ever.

  7. Julie on December 18, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    *holy spirit sobbs*

  8. […] and p.s. – I want to be a special child in her life. Because click over and check out the swank Star Wars soiree she threw for a very deserving little boy earlier this […]

  9. Emily on December 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    This party was amazing in every way. I love that the woman who lost her mother at a young age confirmed for you that the idea for this party really was an inspiration of the Holy. What a blessing!
    Also, if I lived in Texas I would be ordering those Star Wars cookies. They look fabulous!

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      I loved that, too!

  10. Kendra on December 22, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Kathryn, everything about this is beautiful. Virtual hugs all around.

    • Kathryn on December 24, 2015 at 10:05 am

      From one party lover to another, that means a great deal, Kendra!

  11. A Stellar Star Wars Birthday Bash - Team Whitaker on January 29, 2016 at 8:14 am

    […] Star Wars. The theme we loved so much we partied twice. […]

  12. Michelle on August 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What a wonderful party! Thanks for using my printables, I’m glad I was able to contribute even a little!

    • Kathryn on September 1, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      I love those printables!

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