Finally, It’s Party Time!

I am finally ready to give the low-down on the Bar Mitzvah party! You remember, don’t you? The Bar Mitzvah? It happenned almost two weeks ago? If you forgot, read this. And maybe this. But you don’t have to.

Keep in mind that the limited photos I will be posting today are from my own digital camera and from the disposable cameras that we placed on every table at the reception (the quality of those isn’t so great, but they’re fun!). When I get photos from Joozie/Julie/Aunt Doody/Jules, I’ll post a couple of the good ones.

So, where was I? Oh yes, the party.

After the service at the temple, the adults had to–the horror!–drive to the party while the kids were transported there on trolleys. The reception was in a hotel ballroom about ten minutes from the temple, and the theme was the Chicago Cubs…and Root Beer. These are two of the thirteen-year-old’s favorite things.

Upon arriving at the reception, our guests picked up their place cards.


I am very, very proud of the centerpieces. We made candy bar topiaries for all of the tables, and Jim’s mom sewed special banners (definitely more photos of these to come: they were all different!):



The tables looked fabulous! As a surprise to the thirteen-year-old, we had something special made as a little gift for everybody. You may remember my little trip to Milwaukee where I had a little GPS trouble? I was picking up private-label root beer bottles for the party.


Here’s a better view of the label, which was designed by Aunt Julie. She’s a genius.


We ate a lovely lunch, and while the adults were finishing up, the kids went around asking questions to try to win a prize. I had created a “scavenger hunt” where every player had a list of (the same) 13 questions about the boy, and to get the answers they had to find the right party guests to ask.

After that, the boy conducted his candle ceremony, where he called up groups of people representing different parts of his life to light a candle (13 total).

IMG 1484

Then the party really got going, when our DJ friend started the dance music. It was sooooo fun. We did the Electric Slide, the YMCA, of course the Cha Cha Slide, and much more. Naturally, it being a Jewish party, we also did the Hora. I love doing the Hora. It’s a nice little bonding experience with my women friends from the temple. Of course, non-Jewish people end up doing the Hora too, but we always get it started.

And then there was the chair lifting. OY. After the Bar Mitzvah boy is lifted, each member of the immediate family also gets lifted. In case you’re wondering why this happens in the first place, I believe that it’s because a day like this or a wedding day is one of the higher points in a life, and by lifting the person/people in a chair it reflects this and also brings them “closer to God”.

This was my major anxiety of the whole weekend, because I am a wee bit self-conscious about my weight and I:

1. Didn’t want to give anyone a hernia
2. Didn’t want to be dropped
3. Didn’t want to get my head caught in the ceiling fan, just like on America’s Funniest Home Videos (there were actually NO ceiling fans at our party, but I was still worried about it.)

Here is Jason being lifted. He’s a pro.


When it was my turn, I walked to the chair and apologized in advance to my four man friends who were doing the lifting, sat down, and gripped the sides of the chair for dear life. Have you ever been lifted in a chair? It can be terrifying! When they picked me up I shrieked like a little girl and shut my eyes:


As I recall, I screamed the whole time until I saw my mom with her camera. At that point I smiled and waved, but went back to screaming right after that. (The photo above was taken with one of the disposable cameras)

We continued dancing and having fun, and before I knew it, it was time to wrap it up!


We started saying goodbye to all of our guests, and then it was over! All of that planning and hard work that took up a lot in the past few months: Poof!

But it was totally worth it. It was a fabulous cap on an amazing day, and our family will never forget it!

I’ve probably left something out and I will definitely post more pictures at a later date, but that’s it for now!


  • Jules

    YAY! Now I can post about it too! 😉 That photo of you on the chair cracked me up because S’s face is adorable/excited, looking up at you! KB got herself a keeper!
    House of Jules

  • Kat

    Melisa, when you throw a party you THROW A PARTY!
    Actually was wondering if you want to adopt me lol. Your family rocks and that is where your little GPS troubled trip took you. That’s awesome.
    Everything is just so cool. You should totally be a party planner.

  • Melissa

    Wow, so it’s like you get to plan two wedding receptions for the boy? Neat, I’m learning all this exciting Jew Stuff!!

    And I agree with Kat, you throw a heck of a party!!

  • Colleen

    I LOVE the centerpieces/place cards/root beer labels. What an awesome party that must have been for all of you!

  • Soap

    Looks like it was a great party.

    The topiaries look great! Those labels are fantastic!

    You look like you had fun up there on the chair, despite the fear…


  • Melisa

    Momo: Indeed, it was! I wish it was still going on…

    Joodie: Yay you! LOL I know, I love the chair photo too; he looks even more adorable than I do! hee hee…KB got herself a keeper for way more reasons than his adorable smile while lifting me in a chair!

    Kat: Yup! It’s a family talent. 🙂 In fact, being my evil twin means you probably have the talent also. No need for us to adopt you; you’re in already! And people have often told me I should be a party planner, but I couldn’t deal with Bridezillas or Pushy Parents.

    Melissa: Ha! Let’s not talk weddings yet. hee hee!

    Colleen: Thanks! It was a real family effort!

    Soap: Thanks! And yes, it was a teeny, tiny, little bit of fun on the chair; I’ll admit it.

  • suchsimplepleasures

    jew stuff! i love the centerpieces…and those personalized labels…fabulous!!
    love that you finally posted pics!!
    ok…ready to plan my son’s bar mitzvah…april 17th, 2009…and my daughter…march 25, 2011…my mother in law is probably going to take over the planning of my step kids so…phew, kinda!!
    i refused the chair part of the hora at my first wedding because, when my friend got married…and she is tiny…they dropped the chair!! so…scared the piss out of me!!
    i’m glad the bar mitzvah was awesome!!

  • Mags

    Wow-that looks like one fantastic party-the centerpieces, the soda…just wonderful!

    You are the cutest thing on that chair! Look at you. 🙂

    Also, I love the last picture of all the kids dancing and one lone boy with a guitar in the front. I don’t know why, but that cracked me up.

  • Melisa

    SSP/Melissa: Do you REALLY have your daughter’s date in 2011 nailed down? Yikes, I thought WE did it early around here!

    Mags: I know! That’s actually a girl but it’s hard to tell from the photo. I had so many other pics that I could have posted, but I didn’t want to put any of the recognizable ones of the kids up on my blog. But I do love that photo!