As a single mom for many years, Kristin Young didn’t always have a lot of money to throw her kids fancy birthday or holiday parties.
What she did have was a lot of organization, patience and creativity. Young, who has been the receptionist at Mid-States Concrete since July 2016, loves to plan themed parties.
Over the years, she has thrown many birthday parties for her kids Zachary, 14, and Franklin, 9, including football-themed, Pokemon-themed, Lego-themed, Sesame Street-themed, bowling-themed, and baseball-themed. She has also thrown many holiday parties – Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas – and, most recently, planned her October 2017 wedding.
“I have a really good time decorating for (the kids’ parties) because I like to make it as special as I can for my kids,” Young said.
When it comes to party planning, Young admits to being a bit obsessed with it, and to making list after list. The first list she makes is those of the invites, then everything she will need for the meal and finally, a list of all her decorating needs.
“I get very excited over shopping to go get everything,” Young said. “I get excited putting decorations together.”
In order to plan the nicest party, without spending a ton of money on decorations, Young has several stores she often checks out: The Dollar Tree, 50-50 Factory Outlet, Walmart and Hobby Lobby. If she can’t find a specific character for her theme, she goes with the colors of the character or the show. She doesn’t step foot in a party store if she can help it.
“That’s why a lot of times I make my own stuff,” Young said. “Because, if I don’t, I’ll end up spending an arm and a leg.”
Young wasn’t always good at crafting and creating decorations, but over the years, she has gotten better. Because she puts so much time, energy, and money into making decorations, Young saves as many party decorations as she can. After all, she never knows what she might be able to re-use or re-purpose.
Young also saves money, yet still stays on theme, by shopping the grocery store ads for the food she needs. Because she generally chooses a theme at least three months in advance, Young can pay attention to the sales and stock up on what she needs when it is on sale. As she says: it’s too expensive to do it all at one time.
The hardest part of party planning, according to Young, is getting everything to come together exactly how you want it, and waiting on RSVPs. Making sure the party is as much fun as possible, especially when it comes to the kids, is all in the details. For birthday parties, Young always plans a craft or activity. At a recent Thanksgiving, she had kids’ activity tablecloths on the kids table.
As friends and family have attended parties hosted by Young over the years, more than one has turned to Young for party planning help. Young is always happy to help, provided those seeking help provide the budget.
"Maybe one day I can turn it into a business," she said.