Name: Nathan, 1
Location: Palisades Park, NJ
For our son Nathan's traditional Korean dol or first birthday party, I thought back to one of my favorite childhood literary imaginations — The Little Prince. If you remember, he's the little boy prince with the flowing scarf that lived on a tiny planet with a rose. Yes, that French novella written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It was sheer fun making this theme come alive in my son's birthday party!
The colors of the party were yellow, blue, white and gold. The dol table was adorned with white and blue-tinged hydrangeas. Two large vases on either side of the table were filled with green apples and water and topped with bouquets of hydrangeas. I spray-painted the wooden letters of my son's name gold and propped them up at the center. A beautiful white custom fondant birthday cake, yellow and blue mini-macaroons, yellow star cookies and 'meteor planet' cake pops (by Belinda Levine) finished the dol table perfectly! Other details include two white 36" punchbowl balloons strung on yellow star garlands. Lastly, for the backdrop, I used unpeeled wall decals of stars, planets and the Little Prince standing on top of his planet (from walls360.com). These would be saved to be put up in Nathan's room afterwards.
I cut out crown-shaped luminaries from gold vellum paper and placed them strategically at each table. These luminaries really glowed like little stars themselves! Shiny gold star confetti playfully dotted each table and added an element of whimsy. Pastel jellybean topiaries (which I glue-gunned onto styrofoam balls) were the centerpieces for each table. Yellow plantable stars from Recycledideas
on Etsy made the most perfect party favors. A handmade garland of little round gold crowns hung over the side table that displayed Nathan's pictures. And an open pop-book of "Le Petit Prince" made a dramatic and adorable statement of the theme as well.
A Korean dol cannot leave out the doljabi, a traditional raffle game that involves the guests choosing which item they think the baby will hand-pick as his/her symbol of the future to come. Items include string (long life), rice (abundant life), ball (athleticism), stethoscope (a doctor), pencil (scholar) and money (wealth). I made customized labels for each of these items, glued on sticks and put into little glass jars to collect the raffle tickets. The doljabi sign with the question, "What Will Nathan Choose?" was a framed illustration of the Little prince (in this case, I photoshopped his hair black) standing on his lonesome planet. So what did Nathan choose? He chose string and money!
(Images: Lisa Ra)
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