My son J. made his Confirmation this year, and we had a party to celebrate. (He’s 13). When it’s a special occasion, I try to think of ways the kids can participate in getting ready for the party. A favorite is having them help with the “take home” gift bag each guest is given. J. loves chocolate bark, so that was the winner. We put the bark in cellophane bags ( read: I made it), and J. personalized the tags by writing “Thank You” on each one. Did he love it? Let’s say he endured it!

But for me, it served many purposes:
1) It was a special party for J. I wanted him to see it required special effort.
2) I wanted to J. to realize his guests were going to a lot of trouble to come to his party.
3) J.’s job at the end of the party, was to give each guest a party favor when they were leaving. This forced him to look each guest/adult in the eye and personally say “Thank You.”
4) The final benefit was to me. The bark looked great displayed in a big bowl, and added to the party d├ęcor. I love decorating for a party.

I know what your thinking, is she done torturing her kid yet? The answer is…No! He still has to write “Thank Yous.” All this was not appropriate when he was younger, but it is appropriate at 13.

Tip – I learned the hard way, don’t cash the checks until the Thank Yous are done. We usually let our kids keep some part of the gift money they receive for special occasions. Getting to spend that money is an incentive to write those notes. Plus, having all those addresses right on the check is a real time saver.

It’s been three weeks…..we’re almost done.

If you want an easy recipe for chocolate bark, check out my ehow video. It’s not just for Christmas!