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from babyhood to Toddlerhood "the first birthday"

Hello ppl! 

 As we were getting close to 1 year, we knew we had to thank many friends and relatives who had called on, brought gifts and showed much love for baby A.

India is mostly about a lot of celebration and feasting. We wanted to have a big birthday function to celebrate  the 1 year mark and thank one and all.

My planning had started months before the birthday. I wanted a simple, yet memorable and enthralling experience esp. for kids; also off late I have been thinking about our carbon footprints and how we can reduce waste, so my thoughts and ideas revolved around a sustainable and eco-friendly celebration.

 When I thought of a grand celebration, I immediately got an image of grand waste being created by way of balloons, wrapping papers, plastic, flex, plastic bottles etc. and it left me thinking if I can make an attempt to minimise it to best possible  extent. So I was set for a "no balloon/flex/plastic decor" party. Instead of chalkboard and flex banners, I got a video made that we ran throughout the party on a big screen. I just did not stop at d├ęcor, but took it further by limiting invitation cards to digital invites and considering ecofriendly giveaways ( no plastic toys/packaging etc).

Posted on one of the mumbai based groups on facebook for help for decor, got a wonderful response. What was even more satisfying was to have people appreciate the thought and many showed their willingness to join me. I contacted one of the members who I found  very creative with papercraft and was enthusiastic about the project.

I started collecting ideas for decors and finalised floral installation. Though initially i wanted to use upcycled CDs cassettes bangles ( have plenty of them; may be i will keep them for A's next birthday party) since fixing these in a large  banquet hall would have been a challenge. I had to coordinate with the banqueting team, the event organiser( who was responsible for a part of decor and lighting), the decor lady, already too many parties were involved, i didn't want to complicate things further, so I stuck to simple paper flower and cloth frill decoration.

The main backdrop

Birthday party also means lots and lots of gifts and when you invite over 100 families it could mean those many gifts ( mostly toys for a one year old) plus that much of plastic being used ( wrapping paper + poly bags) also these gifts would mean to take up a lot of space to store, which sadly any mumbai home would fall short of. So i decided to leave a polite note of " no gifts". Thankfully we got saved of a gifts' tsumani. Many friends still got gifts and honestly we excitedly opened them up to show them to A. Nothing is more exciting than opening up gifts after a birthday party. It takes you back to your own childhood.

A glimpse of the puppet show

The inconspicuous theme of our party was "green", dominant color was golden though. We expected around 40 kids, so we kept many activities for them. We had a trampoline, a potter, a tattoo artist and the highlight of the function was a puppet show. We also had few games, dance and DJ and a Selfie booth that went superhit. I wanted a cycle/rickshaw or a scooter for the booth and luckily our organiser got a beautiful Sone ki cycle ( golden color cycle). The props added to the fun.
Posing with the b'day boy

Birthday parties have excitement from the beginning tilll the end, because the end gets you a return gift. To stick to the theme, my idea was to give something that is useful, eco friendly and something that would intrigue the kids. After discussing it with others in the family I finalised piggybank as a giveaway. Since ceramic ones had shipping issues I zeroed down on cute wooden house shaped piggy banks. These were handcrafted and sourced from Sarahanpur in UP. (Saharanpur is known for wooden and wrought iron handicrafts.)

The giveaway
The party Giveaway which was dearly loved by all the kids; so said their mommies ;)

As soon as we received these, I along with our nephews and nieces sat down to prepare newspaper bags. It took us 5-6 wrong, messed up bags and 3-4 YouTube videos to get to our perfect bag. Each piggy bank came in a carton which was straightaway put into these paper-bags. I will shortly do another blog with steps to making an easy-peasy newspaper bag :)

The prizes for the games for kids comprised of upcycled disposable bamboo plates with handkerchiefs and toffees and for adults we gave ceramic coffee mugs. 

More about party planning, checklist, return gift ideas and eco friendly decorations in my upcoming post.

Keep reading and keep inspiring...


  1. Very well expressed Rashmi !! Eager to read your next post soon :-) love ya n all the best !!

  2. Very well expressed Rashmi !! Eager to read your next post soon :-) love ya n all the best !!

    1. Hi Nishi,
      Thanks. Your comment is encouraging. hope you enjoy my other posts too.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Loved the way you understood conservation. Many people talk about it but I am amazed to see the way you have applied it in your day today activity. I hope your this step will influence thousand hearts.
      No doubt that birthday, party, marriage in India calls for celebration/ get-together , but in recent years the whole idea of festivity has been changed to show off and wastage. It is depressing to see the unnecessary use of items like plastics, disposals , balloons props etc., that too without any guilt inside! Surprisingly, 90% of intellectual claim that it is government duty to keep our country clean. But, to have clean water, air, and land is their birth right!
      I appreciate your effort for taking all that risk and making it big without loosing any charm. It takes so much courage to experiment something new and that too on someone's (A's ) 1st birthday. The best part is the way you explained each and every detail. Because few things are meant to reach more and more people to inspire the world.
      Thrilled me the way you did :) Lots of hugs and kisses to A
      Love you!
      Keep inspiring!

    4. Thankyou Ankana for taking out time to appreciate what I did. I take my inspiration from people like you. touched by your detailed comment here.


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