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In theory, planning a child’s birthday party should be nothing but fun. In reality, there’s also a whole lot of stress that can arise from the logistics and expectations that come with this annual celebration. Vanessa Lachey has three kids and thus plans multiple parties a year — often in their new home in Hawai’i and old home in LA — and still, she gets nothing but joy from the experience.
“I love party planning,” she tells SheKnows. “In a previous life, in my next life, or after I retire, I’m going to be a party planner.”
So just how does the NCIS Hawai’i star and television host keep her cool amidst what could be chaos? Well, in the Lachey household, party planning is not a one-person show; it’s a family affair. And if Vanessa is the mind behind a celebration, her kids are the voice — and her husband Nick Lachey is the muscle.
“He’s my manual labor,” she says of the 98 Degrees singer and TV host. “[I’ll say], ‘This goes there, that goes over there, can you go get 20 bags of ice?’”
It helps that the Lacheys’ daughter, 8-year-old Brooklyn, is practically a party planner in training. She apparently wants to start her own company, and frankly, we are eagerly awaiting this mother-daughter enterprise.
It’s no surprise, then, that Vanessa turns to her kids for inspiration, and she loves getting their input. She says that letting them get involved in their birthday party adds a whole other layer of fun.
“I think it’s cute when they can add anything that they love and any finishing touches,” she says. “They feel like they have a voice.”
And believe it or not, despite their kids-of-celebrities status, they rarely ask for anything over the top.
“Their little brains work in a way that is just unique and pure and fresh,” she says. “And here you’re thinking, ‘I want to do this extravagant XYZ ,’ and they’re like, ‘I just want ABC.’ And you’re just like, ‘You know what? You’re right.’”
It’s a sentiment we saw just last week when Livingston McConaughey asked his parents Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves for a trip to a trampoline park and ice cream cake for his birthday.
“For me, it’s not so much about the ‘wow factor’ as it is about the sentiment,” she tells us.
Of course, beyond taking what her kids want into account, Vanessa also ensures birthday parties are as fun for the attendees as they are for the guest of honor, and she has a simple trick for that: party favors. One year, it was personalized T-shirts and thermoses. Now, in partnership with Kinder Joy, she’s a fan of the Kinder Joy birthday pack, which comes with a treat and toy that kids can personalize and put together for their friends. “There was so much joy making them without the hassle and the stress of tchotchkes and shopping,” she says. (And speaking of less extravagant: They’re less than $2 per guest!)
Vanessa also says that having a tradition (a concept that has always been important to her) helps give structure to the whole celebratory experience — and party favors fit the bill for her kids. After years of Zoom school over the pandemic, she was surprised when her kids asked what favors they could bring to in-person school.
“It wasn’t even on my mind, but they remembered that it was a tradition,” she says. “They knew it’s something to look forward to.”
These celeb parents know how to throw an epic birthday bash!
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