Are pinatas only for kids, or adults too?
Have you ever bashed a pinata? I think that most children have, but what about us adults? Surely the adult's only role is that of a health and safety officer? To make sure that children don't accidentally hit themselves, others, or the furniture?!
I was convinced that that's just how it was. However, that all changed when I turned 40 last year. My daughter's birthdays were also in the same month, so I'd decided that I was going to make them each a pinata of their choice. My older daughter decided that a nutella jar was the way to go, while my younger daughter (who was having a pyjama birthday party) decided that she would like a crescent moon.
So I set about making the pinatas.
What I quickly discovered was that if pinatas had been a 'thing' when I was little, I would have definitely have been making them. My childhood was spent making things out of cardboard boxes, sellotape and scissors, so making these pinatas made me feel like I was 10 again. Some people colour in, do yoga, paint or go for a walk, but for me, cutting shapes out of cardboard boxes and sticking them together was definitely my kind of relaxation.
Although this was the big 4-0, I had decided that I didn't need or want a party. We'd gone away for a few days as a family just before it, and as long as I had a birthday cake on the big day, that was just fine with me. But seeing the girls' finished pinatas, it made me wonder if I should make one for myself too? Should I? What shape of pinata?
There were just too many options! I decided that I needed to challenge myself. I'd already made some basic shaped pinatas for the girls, so I wanted something that was different. I narrowed it down to making a geometric shape (possibly a diamond) or attempting a word. A word seemed harder, which therefore meant more fun (as far as I was concerned!), so that was my decision made!
It had to be a short word though - I know my limits. I could have done my name but that seemed too childish. I also thought about doing numbers instead of letters so that I had '40', but it didn't seem unusual enough.
The word I kept coming back to was 'old'. Let's be honest, when you're still 19 in your head, 40 certainly seems old. I also liked the fact that I would be able to bash 'old' to bits - that ought to feel good right? I decided to fill it with 'Werther's Originals' sweets as they are the perfect 'old' person's sweet!
So I made the pinata. It was a challenge as I predicted - making sure that I got the holes in the 'o' and 'd', and putting the fringing on the tricky parts where the letters joined. But I did it. Hooray!
On my birthday I let my daughters have a quick turn at hitting it, and then it was all mine. I bashed and smashed and it was strangely satisfying as the sweets came raining down onto the floor. I recommend it, I really do. I think that it was a mix of the symbolism of smashing the 'old' word, but it was also the fact that I got to be a child again, living in the moment, if only for that short while.
I think that in the future, instead of sitting back, watching and supervising the kids hitting a pinata, I'm definitely going to have a go myself too. Maybe I'll make separate kids and adult pinatas so that we don't need to share!
And I also don't think that I'm going to just limit them to birthdays. What about Christmas or New Year? Or a moving gift for a new home? Or how about a 'It's Saturday night, we're stuck in the house but we want to do something fun' pinata? The possibilities are endless!
In December I made some Christmas pinatas for the Glasgow Etsy Made Local market, and lots of people got on board with the Christmas pinata idea. I love the thought of starting a new Christmas tradition with your family.
I'm hoping to do some workshops this year, where I can teach people how to make their own pinata. If you think that it is something you might like to do (they'll be in Glasgow), then be sure to follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram for details nearer the time.