- Surf the internet for Other People's Party Ideas. Become discouraged when 95% of Other Minecraft Parties seem to be 60% fusible bead playdates among toddlers, 96% cube-shaped foods, 97% printed cutout decorations and only 3% actual activities.
- Hit Oriental Trading Company's webpage with wild hopes. Become discouraged when the closest suggestions for Minecraft anythings are Shiny Gold Coins and Inflatable Spiders.
- Surreptitiously (i.e. while the children are in school) visit Party City and brazenly ask staff where the Minecraft Section is. Become discouraged when staff sheepishly reply, "There isn't one. We've been trying to bring in Minecraft things for the last year." Resist the urge to scathingly respond, "Well, try harder!" reminding self that it is no one's fault but one's own if one has allowed one's offspring to cultivate hobbies that don't have ready-to-party themes in stores.
- In throes of despair, begin swotting. Like as if it's an exam (which it is).
- Assemble your Dream Team: hot glue gun, craft knife, kitchen scissors, T-square, sticker-maker, piping bags. Give them pep talk. Say, "Guys, we need a miracle. Make it happen." Remind self that their ominous silence has more to do with being inanimate (but awesome) objects than poor team spirit.
- Recruit your Other Dream Team, the ones with actual vocal cords: the children. Give them pep talk. Say, "Pray for good weather. Offer sacrifices to gain favor with the party guests so they will RSVP on time. Pay tribute to your father (who owns the yard) and other important relatives (who will drive out to pick up last-minute balloons and the pizza) to secure their assistance on the actual day of
tribulationjubilee. Also give me a list of potion ingredients that won't kill your friends, especially those with food allergies."
- Ban "Don't Go Mining At Night" on iTunes, even though the children claim it is good for team morale, because it clogs your brain while working.
- Momentarily panic because your word processor does not have the Minecraft font. Slap sense back to self and pick Arial because who cares anyway what the instructions for the potions look like?
- Exorcise any thoughts of sewing from mind, including that manic one on mass-producing 14 stuffed Minecraft Squid (with teeth) as party favors.
- Corral all the take-out menus in the house and make all-week dinner arrangements.
- Find cardboard.
And - suddenly - the stress melts away and the sun shines through the clouds and everything is merry and bright. Because, you know, it's cardboard, and cardboard can make miracles of anything. Once more, then, into the breach!