I apologise for the first version of the title which had somehow become scrambled!
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It occurred to me recently that something which has changed a lot since I was a child is the birthday party. Parties today are often ‘themed’, they are sometimes held at a venue such as an indoor play centre, the cake will represent something (Barbie, Peppa Pig, Star Wars etc), there might be an entertainer hired to come to the home and – the biggest change of all – the guests leave with a gift in the shape of a party bag.
In my childhood birthday parties were every bit as enjoyable. These are my memories of our parties in ‘the old days’.
The party food was predictable, but we loved it. There would be sandwiches – egg and cress (my favourite to this day!), ham, cheese and Shipham’s paste are the ones I remember best.
Then there were home-baked cakes: butterfly cakes, fairy cakes, jam tarts. The birthday cakes were always home baked too. This is one of the biggest changes. We had a Victoria sponge, with jam in the middle, icing on the top, a cake band (anyone remember those?) and candles in little candle holders.
As for the entertainment: well, we didn’t have clowns, magicians or any other form of hired entertainer. We played games. There was usually a Pass the Parcel game – in those days there wasn’t a treat under each layer! We also played Musical Chairs, Statues, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Blind Man’s Buff.
One thing which hasn’t changed – we loved birthday parties then and children love them now.
Oh, that cake band brings back memories. I used to get the same pleasure from seeing the cake band come out for birthdays as I did seeing our box of constantly recycled wrapping paper come out at Christmas.
Traditional fare at Kiwi birthday parties was: cheerios (little saveloys – I don’t know what you call them in the UK) on toothpicks so we could dunk them in tomato sauce; fairy bread – thin slices of bread and butter sprinkled with hundreds and thousands; jelly and icecream, butterfly cakes, and meringues. Birthday cakes were usually chocolate cakes, or sponge cakes sandwiched together with jam and cream.
Yes, the same cake band was used year after year! We had a red and silver one for the Christmas cake. I’d forgotten jelly! My mum used to use a rabbit-shaped jelly mould. Thanks for sharing your memories. M
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Yep, I remember the games, but with a working mom, we didn’t have fancy cakes…just whatever kind she could make with candles and ice cream. Those were BIG deals back then.
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Hmmmn…i remember then we take a special gift pack to the party for the celebrant now its almost the other way round…seems the celebrants parents wants all the children to have something to remember them by. Nicely written and i enjoyed reading this post.
Thank you so much!