Party party

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Is it just me, or is this a really pricey time of year? Every time I go near the girls’ school bags, bills seem to fly out and stick themselves to me. They’re either from the music teachers, who are all clearly eager to build swimming pools behind the lovely second homes they have bought courtesy of Divorce Towers, or from the school, demanding money for trips, atlases, special posh calculators and all manner of nonsense. As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also got both the girls’ birthdays and Christmas to look forward to – and three parties.

All right, I could just get away with two parties, one each for the girls’ birthdays. But our Christmas party last year was a great success (well, we enjoyed it, and so what if the mulled wine pan burnt dry and cast a bit of a pall over proceedings towards the end?) so I’d really like to have another.

The girls’ parties are really looming, though. What on earth do they want at this age? I ask them, and they don’t seem to know themselves. Teenage birthday parties are as much of a conundrum as teenagers themselves.

As usual, I’m looking to friends for a bit of inspiration. We’ve had one invite recently to a disco party, which sounds great, and another to a private film screening, also lovely. At both, teenagers will be able to indulge their favourite pursuits – daring each other to talk to members of the opposite sex, amid much giggling, or slumping on sofas in front of a large screen. But neither is what you might call a bargain option.

Last year, we had pampering parties, thanks to my lovely beautician friend, who did loads of manicures, pedicures and facials. All the mummies, including me, were jealous. But what on earth shall I do this year? Any suggestions will be very gratefully received.

One thing’s for sure, though, I won’t knock myself out on the food. Every year I spend hours lovingly crafting plates of crudités, only for the kids to go for the vile cheesy wotsits the girls have forced me at gunpoint to buy. This time, I’m going to go for the line of least resistance, and do what another friend did recently – order some yummy, and not hideously expensive, pizza online.

There, now the menu’s sorted out, it’s just the themes, party bags, invitation and venues to organize. I think I might just start by having a little lie down.

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