Monday was my son's birthday party. I actually ended up throwing him 2 this year, one for kids with older siblings and one only for two year olds. It went better than I could have hoped. My chassidic friend brought the cake, so that all the kids could eat it without issue (I don't keep kosher and certainly not to her highest of standards, so it was much easier for her to bake it). I taped shut the paper goody bags, so that the children felt like they were opening presents. We had ten kids total ranging in ages from 18 months to 4 years old, both boys and girls. They merrily played with the indoor toys, we had great time playing tag and chasing the ducks, the older kids opened my son's presents as he was still fixated on goody bag fixings, the kids devoured the cake, the adults ate the cupcakes I'd made as a back up and great fun was had by all. Near the end of the party, one of the boys, a 4 year old, started yelling "everyone stop talking!" I asked him what the matter was and essentially the grown-ups were making such a ruckus that he was getting agitated. I notice another little girl clinging to her mom, all teary eyed, swept her up in my arms and led the more articulate little boy into my son's playroom for some quiet time. Ironically, most of the children followed suit and it became less-loud-time. It was great to see everyone interact, especially since only 4 or the 10 kids (2 of the parents) knew each other. A party well planned and executed. No need for anything fancy, just good friends, food and something to rip open.