When it comes to my kid's birthday parties, I try to resist going all Pinterest crazy and making everything themed and putting special labels on water bottles and such. You know why? Your kid does not care if you do that. In the long run, all you've done is make more work for yourself.
For Alana's birthday, which happens to land right in the middle of fall break, I let her have a small party with friends from school. The only real effort I put into this party was cupcakes, not cake because cake = forks & plates. She talked me into cotton candy and rice krispy treats and those things require like 5 minutes of work so I agreed.
I'm glad we got to celebrate Alana's birthday, twice. She is so sweet and loving and I wanted her to feel special since she's the oldest and with little kids around its easy for them to feel left out. All it took for her to feel loved was to be sung to a couple of times, including once at the Olive Garden, where she actually requested they publicly sing to her (who does that?). I hope she always stays this sweet, even if the Olive Garden staff doesn't sing to her every other day of the year.