Luau for mom's 80th birthday

jennJuly 12, 2010

I'm planning a small birthday party to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday. She wants to keep it small, just immediate family. She's in very good health and still very active; she just wants a small-scale operation. It will be held at our house.

I'm considering a luau theme to "take her to Hawaii". I want this to be nice and fun, but not corny. Our local party store sells just about every luau-theme decoration in the universe, so I think we're covered there.

I'm considering the menu, and came up with the following:

- Grilled chicken kebabs, or ribs (or both on the same grill???) OR burgers... she loves a good homemade burger

- Cabbage salad (NOT coleslaw)

- watermelon

- tropical fruit smoothies

- ???

- ???

For dessert, she likes lemon so I'm considering a white cake with lemon curd filling, and lemon buttercream frosting with toasted coconut. Also, I ordered some melting chocolate from for fondue w/strawberries, bananas, etc.

I plan to decorate with balloons to create a festive front yard for her arrival, then decorate the patio with luau decorations. Upon arrival, each person will get a lei to wear (I'll ask them to dress casual, in tropical-shirt attire if possible). We'll play Hawaiian music. If the weather will be too hot, I'll plan the party for inside the house.

I want the party to be very special, fun, but tasteful --- no "over the hill" or gag gifts for her.

I'd appreciate any menu or decor suggestions!

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I think your plans sound great! I can't think of anything to add, except that if you are serving alcohol, I'd pick something tropical fruity.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 12:20AM
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Sounds wonderful. Can I come? :-)

How about getting an orchid for your mom's hair (worn over her ear). Be careful - traditionally, the ear you wear it on indicates whether you're available or "taken"! A real orchid would be lovely and not at all tacky.

You could grill some pineapple. Brush with a mixture of brown sugar and butter and grill, being careful not to burn it. Very yummy, especially if you top with vanilla ice cream. But you've already got dessert covered (yum), so probably don't need that. But I would try to get some pineapple in there somehow.

With watermelon, I like to toss it with shredded mint and feta cheese. It is so good.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Thank you for your suggestions.

I bought a lei for each person, a special one for my mom, and a few hula hoops. I know my nieces and nephew and their mom will love the hula hoops. We're also planning a water balloon toss. There will be only 8 of us and my mom is strong and in very good health, exercises almost every day, and stays very active, so I want to create a fun festive day.

We did not buy any luau decorations (yet). We're reluctant to spend money on decorations that we may not use again. So, without the luau decorations, it's hard to create a "Hawaii" theme that I am going for.

We have a nice backyard with lots of potential to create a luau atmosphere, but it would take some money.

I'm seeking suggestions for non-tacky backyard decorations to create a luau look without spending a small fortune. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:21PM
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Well, I'm pretty shopped out now and have plenty of decorations. But feel free to post for future reference or anyone else who checks in. :-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:42PM
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