Back in December, my carpool friend and I talked about how long it was going to be between January and spring break, especially since Easter is so late this year. How would we make it through February and March, we wondered? What would we look forward to? Perhaps we should have a random party to cheer us up. And because I remembered that Brandi’s friend Jennie throws a birthday party for Abraham Lincoln every year, I randomly suggested that my carpool friend and I should throw our own Abe Lincoln Birthday Party. I mentioned it to Mike, who happened to come across the information that this year would be the 200th anniversary of Honest Abe’s birth. So then, of course, we had to have the party. Even if we were the only ones there.
When I sent out the Evite, the final lines were, “Stop rolling your eyes! This will be fun!” But we still got quite a lot of eye rolling. People called us dorks. And nerds. Some people, though, were apparently nerds just like us, because they got really into the idea of Lincoln trivia, a Gettysburg Address game, and everyone’s favorite activity: beard making. There was a lot of trivia/beard smack talking going on at my school last week. Teachers were studying up on their trivia and demanding to know what the media would be for the beard making (I wouldn’t tell them, but I will tell you: cotton balls, black paint, and yarn. Also, I made a lot of copies of this beard template for people to use).
Besides those games and the beard making, I made apple pie and flag cupcakes (I figured that was easier than flag cake when it came to serving at a party). My friend blew up some pictures of Lincoln and we hung them around the house (including in Alisa’s bathroom). We had a “guess how many pennies are in the jar game.” And I tied patriotic ribbon (supplied by Alisa) around rolls of pennies for the prizes. Also, I bought Sam Adams as our beverage of choice. It’s vaguely presidential. Sort of. (It was either that or Natty Greene’s.)
I don’t actually know anything about Abraham Lincoln. I mean, I know the same stuff that my sixth graders know: He was tall, he wore a hat, he had a beard, he made the Emancipation Proclamation, he was assassinated. I respect him for leading our country through a difficult time, but I haven’t really read any books on him or anything. So of course I was in charge of the trivia game. Some of my questions were a little too hard. But there was a lot of studying going on! In my defense, I was afraid of making them too easy. There is a very fine line to walk when it comes to trivia. In the end, I think I had a nice balance of questions, but there were a few anxious moments. Of course, if you are going to come to an Abraham Lincoln party, you are probably going to go with the flow and play along, even if the questions are too hard.
An Abraham Lincoln birthday party is one of those things that could either go well or go very badly, but in the end, I think people had fun. We had snacks, we had craft time, we played some games. We did not sing “Happy Birthday.” Now there is talk of coming up with other random reasons to throw parties. Brian suggested a Taft party. But I am not sure about celebrating Taft. Would I have to put a bathtub in the living room for people to get stuck in?
(The title is from a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” He seems like a fun guy.)